Alien Swarm Gets AI Director And Harder Difficulty Level

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Posted by BradNicholson (812 posts) -
Alien Swarm users like their matches rough and varied, and the next time they boot up the game they'll be able to get it just how they like it. In a recent Valve press release (via Destructoid), it was revealed that Alien Swarm has been updated with AI director-controlled enemy routines and greater difficulty levels, sure to please those who wanted just a tad bit more from the free top-down shooter.

To be more specific, Valve has added a lone mode that introduces the AI director made so famous in Left 4 Dead. It's called Onslaught, and just like in Left 4 Dead, maps will spawn enemies based on a variety of factors including, for example, a squad's given stress level.

Onslaught will work across all difficulty levels, including the game's new Brutal difficulty. In the press release, Valve makes it rather clear this mode is indeed hard by stating that no one, as of August 23, has cleared a mission on the new difficulty.  



A new hardcore friendly fire option has been added as well. When toggled on, this will turn all team-caused damage--including turret fire--into full-on normal damage.

I initially read this press release as something of a challenge. The question "Are you man enough?" kept popping into my head. But Valve isn't exactly throwing down the gauntlet here. Apparently, these two upgrades were the most requested from the player base, and as usual, Valve is delivering on fans' wants and desires.
#1 Posted by BradNicholson (812 posts) -
Alien Swarm users like their matches rough and varied, and the next time they boot up the game they'll be able to get it just how they like it. In a recent Valve press release (via Destructoid), it was revealed that Alien Swarm has been updated with AI director-controlled enemy routines and greater difficulty levels, sure to please those who wanted just a tad bit more from the free top-down shooter.

To be more specific, Valve has added a lone mode that introduces the AI director made so famous in Left 4 Dead. It's called Onslaught, and just like in Left 4 Dead, maps will spawn enemies based on a variety of factors including, for example, a squad's given stress level.

Onslaught will work across all difficulty levels, including the game's new Brutal difficulty. In the press release, Valve makes it rather clear this mode is indeed hard by stating that no one, as of August 23, has cleared a mission on the new difficulty.  



A new hardcore friendly fire option has been added as well. When toggled on, this will turn all team-caused damage--including turret fire--into full-on normal damage.

I initially read this press release as something of a challenge. The question "Are you man enough?" kept popping into my head. But Valve isn't exactly throwing down the gauntlet here. Apparently, these two upgrades were the most requested from the player base, and as usual, Valve is delivering on fans' wants and desires.
#2 Posted by rheiv (5 posts) -

nice

#3 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

The director could have been in from the start. That was a command you could put in yourself. 

#4 Posted by Gizmo (5389 posts) -

Tried this with a friend. It was awesome to just camp in a corner and set up a couple of turrets.
 
The community need to make some awesome defense maps, which i'm sure they will.

#5 Posted by ch13696 (4582 posts) -

Wait, wasn't this released yesterday? Old news there Brad.

#6 Posted by Finscher (146 posts) -

Great. I was running out of stuff to do besides TF2 on my PC anyway.

#7 Posted by Falconer (1686 posts) -

Friendly fire has always been in the game. It's on by default... Also, an even harder difficulty? No thanks.

#8 Posted by Bummey (608 posts) -

Great, that game was too easy! I like the friendly fire change, especially. Back in the day a single misplaced shotgun blast could take out your entire squad. Hopefully it will bring back the teamwork of days long past.

#9 Posted by SSully (4185 posts) -

Old news but still great none the less. Cant complain about free updates for a free game!

#10 Posted by Hep (14 posts) -

Good news, hopefully will add to the game.

#11 Posted by JarenFace (205 posts) -

Is this out for Macs yet <_<;;
 
Still itching to try this. Maybe I'll try to install it on the ol' family PC.

#12 Posted by ajamafalous (11988 posts) -

This news is two days old.

#13 Posted by Sogeman (871 posts) -

harder? I didn't even get through easy.

#14 Posted by majnuker (75 posts) -

I tried the insane or w/e the highest difficulty was and it was way too hard on the biomass level in residential. I can't see how this will improve the gameplay. 
 
i want some community maps already haha. this game is so much better than the other unreal engine top down alien shooter....that i paid for. that thing was terrible.

#15 Posted by rbanke (191 posts) -

I keep getting my ass kicked on normal, let alone hard. Fun game though.

#16 Posted by Jeffk38uk (715 posts) -

The addition of the AI director as an actual game mode is a welcome addition, as after playing through the same campaign levels you kind of get bored of the same alien placements, so this should spice things up a bit. 
 
Well, that and new custom campaigns from modders and mappers.

#17 Posted by manapause (8 posts) -
@ch13696:  because news is old if it isn't beamed directly into your eyeballs the instant it happens?!
#18 Posted by DryvBy (249 posts) -

Time to start this game up tonight. TWB NIGHT!!!

#19 Posted by Schizoid (1064 posts) -

Might have to fire the game up again, I played through it and never really touched it again!

#20 Posted by DXmagma (317 posts) -

"for those who like it rough and varied."
 
so many dirty jokes to make.

#21 Posted by Trylks (829 posts) -

What's that "director AI"? Where could I read more about it? 
 
My knowledge about the AI in games is old and rusty, any information is welcome, the more technical the better. 
 
Beside of that. Is the brutal mode that hard solely on the intelligence of the enemies or other aspects of the game (like the number of enemies or the damage caused to them by weapons) have been modified? 
 
This may not be the best place to ask these questions, but if you knwo of a better place to ask them, that would be a good answer. 
 
Thank you.

#22 Posted by Paulus (176 posts) -

The reason it was so heavily requested probably has something to do with the original community. 
Seeing that the original alienswarm was harder and had full friendly fire (Which resulted in a high quantity of accidental shotgun teamkills :D)

#23 Posted by ICryCauseImEmo (522 posts) -

Haven't really put any hours into this game idunno not into the top down shooter deal.

#24 Posted by Poki3 (527 posts) -

#25 Posted by Tactical_Kill (1695 posts) -
#26 Posted by TMThomsen (2073 posts) -

Yeah, Steam told me this yesterday.

#27 Posted by LankyPikey (13 posts) -

Man, AI directors should be in every game. After L4D I was hoping more devs would be inspired by it and implement similar ideas in their own games. Do Valve own the patent or something?

#28 Posted by Levio (1784 posts) -
@ShaggyChu said:
" Friendly fire has always been in the game. It's on by default... Also, an even harder difficulty? No thanks. "
Current friendly fire does very little damage.  It was so small that I did not mind getting shot in the back if it meant my teammate was getting more aliens killed.  This new mode means a single friendly fire could ruin your entire mission.
#29 Posted by l3illyl3ob (283 posts) -

A free content update to a free game. Why can't more companies be like Valve?

#30 Posted by Monkeyman04 (1124 posts) -
@l3illyl3ob said:
" A free content update to a free game. Why can't more companies be like Valve? "
Valve is the reason I still have confidence in human life. 
#31 Posted by Xerxes8933A (227 posts) -

AI Director has always been in the game, you just had to turn it on in the console.  Same with full friendly fire damage.

#32 Posted by Hector (3364 posts) -

but sadly my computer can't run this!

#33 Posted by MostlyImprov (18 posts) -

Oh man, I've gotta get back to some Alien Swarming after this.

#34 Posted by BUCK3TM4N (549 posts) -

i tried brutal..... ya its hard

#35 Posted by ZanzibarBreeze (3071 posts) -
#36 Posted by I_am_Lono (193 posts) -

GIANTBOMB! Where our news is at least 48 hours long and always contains the words "Via"

#37 Posted by AlexMason (7 posts) -

I'll be able to play this once I get my pc working again. For now, it's just too slow on my laptop.

#38 Posted by Tordah (2479 posts) -

Hmm, I thought the most common requested feature would be more maps?
 
Insane difficult was managable up until the Residential level if you're playing with a decent team, but then it got super hard. The hard difficulty is not hard at all, even if you're playing with random strangers.

#39 Edited by TheBurzummaniac (23 posts) -

Aww Jesus! I'm already having trouble with this game and now this! It seems that I'll never be a good Alien Swarm player.... :(
#40 Edited by Insectecutor (1186 posts) -

" Alien Swarm users like their matches rough and varied, and the next time they boot up the game they'll be able to get it just how they like it."
 
UUughh. Dude. C'mon. That's some pretty heinous writing. Sort it out.

#41 Posted by JJWeatherman (14558 posts) -

Now if Valve would just send me a gaming PC, I'd be all set.

#42 Posted by GetEveryone (4455 posts) -

Another small, but greatly appreciated token from Valve, proving once again that they are among the (if not THE) greatest devs/publishers in the industry.

#43 Posted by Niall_Sg1 (362 posts) -

I thought the difficulty in this game was already well varied but whatever, any update is good! 

#44 Posted by TheBurzummaniac (23 posts) -
@Insectecutor:
I wasn't bashing anyone, if that's what you mean.  I'll edit it though, just to make sure. Sorry for being annoying.
#45 Posted by GottaBelieve (17 posts) -

Valve, why are you so good to us?

#46 Posted by SuperSambo (2863 posts) -

It was only free cause noone would pay for it...

#47 Posted by Colin (707 posts) -

oooollddd news.
#48 Posted by Devz (10 posts) -

I should really try this game out

#49 Edited by SXBIG (166 posts) -

Who the hell thought that Insane was easy?

#50 Posted by Sammo21 (3275 posts) -

What else?  This game was free, still is free, and all of the updates are free.  I love Valve and I love PC gaming.

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