Games are smart, but they're not that smart

I want better AI! 
 
That's the general gist of this rant through the ramblings of my gaming experiences. It all starts back with 2D games on consoles with processing power counted in bits rather than Gigahertz. A simpler time where those graphical misrepresentation's could transport you to a fantasy world or to defend the Earth from Space Invaders. These games featured less than realistic graphics and were more a representation of a concept or idea, so I have no problem with the difficulty level of these games. 
 
The AI in these games was designed to do a job, and in order to make that job harder for the player (increase the difficulty) the AI simply did those things faster - which worked! When the player got used to the speed of a game and found it comparatively "easy" as to when they first started playing the game increasing the difficulty to result in a faster more challenging experience was fine. 
 
My problem with current difficulty settings is that they don't work on realistic games. 

There are many examples of this but I will pick out a few to better explain my point. I play football games (soccer games) and I usually play them on medium difficulty, what I (and I presume the developers) think the game should be played as its the difficulty level that most mimics real life football/soccer. However the problem comes when I get used to the mechanics of the game and have played it so much that on the same difficulty setting I find the game easy. 
 
So I do what gamers have done for decades, I seek a greater challenge in a higher difficulty mode. However this to the developers means that the computer controlled players run faster, make quicker passes and generally punch above their weight in every respect. For example, I may be controlling a World Class striker that is a very fast runner and in peak physical condition of a 25 year old. What I don't expect to see in a realistic game is a not so World Class 42 year old defender keeping up with said striker. Hardly realistic is it? 
 
No, what I expect to see is the 42 year old defender be better position when I run at him. As opposed to the computer putting the player in the same position and making him run 2x his normal speed. 
 
The same goes for First Person Shooter games too. If I shoot an enemy AI on normal difficulty and he dies, why is he a superhuman on a high difficulty setting? This happens in all top games Halo, Call of Duty etc.
 
I do agree that this does literally increase the difficulty, it is harder to play the game due to the AI being twice as fast, strong and have better abilities than you in every area. But that goes against the ethos of the game doesn't it? With realistic environments and computer controlled units I want the increased difficulty to make them better not boost their stats off the chart. Surely that's cheating the game engine? And not only do I feel cheated but if I were to do that I wouldn't get achievements either. 
 
Am I the only one that feels this way?

6 Comments
7 Comments
Posted by MadJim11

I want better AI! 
 
That's the general gist of this rant through the ramblings of my gaming experiences. It all starts back with 2D games on consoles with processing power counted in bits rather than Gigahertz. A simpler time where those graphical misrepresentation's could transport you to a fantasy world or to defend the Earth from Space Invaders. These games featured less than realistic graphics and were more a representation of a concept or idea, so I have no problem with the difficulty level of these games. 
 
The AI in these games was designed to do a job, and in order to make that job harder for the player (increase the difficulty) the AI simply did those things faster - which worked! When the player got used to the speed of a game and found it comparatively "easy" as to when they first started playing the game increasing the difficulty to result in a faster more challenging experience was fine. 
 
My problem with current difficulty settings is that they don't work on realistic games. 

There are many examples of this but I will pick out a few to better explain my point. I play football games (soccer games) and I usually play them on medium difficulty, what I (and I presume the developers) think the game should be played as its the difficulty level that most mimics real life football/soccer. However the problem comes when I get used to the mechanics of the game and have played it so much that on the same difficulty setting I find the game easy. 
 
So I do what gamers have done for decades, I seek a greater challenge in a higher difficulty mode. However this to the developers means that the computer controlled players run faster, make quicker passes and generally punch above their weight in every respect. For example, I may be controlling a World Class striker that is a very fast runner and in peak physical condition of a 25 year old. What I don't expect to see in a realistic game is a not so World Class 42 year old defender keeping up with said striker. Hardly realistic is it? 
 
No, what I expect to see is the 42 year old defender be better position when I run at him. As opposed to the computer putting the player in the same position and making him run 2x his normal speed. 
 
The same goes for First Person Shooter games too. If I shoot an enemy AI on normal difficulty and he dies, why is he a superhuman on a high difficulty setting? This happens in all top games Halo, Call of Duty etc.
 
I do agree that this does literally increase the difficulty, it is harder to play the game due to the AI being twice as fast, strong and have better abilities than you in every area. But that goes against the ethos of the game doesn't it? With realistic environments and computer controlled units I want the increased difficulty to make them better not boost their stats off the chart. Surely that's cheating the game engine? And not only do I feel cheated but if I were to do that I wouldn't get achievements either. 
 
Am I the only one that feels this way?

Posted by billnyethesciencepie

Video games arent being realistic? 
 
 
WHAT IS THIS I DONT EVEN-

Posted by MysteriousBob

You know what was really realistic for an FPS game? 
Far Cry 2. 
It was also incredibly boring and tedious. 
 
Realism =/= Fun

Edited by Tennmuerti

Because making a smart AI is very difficult.
It takes increasingly more and more time and resources to make it smarter and smarter.  Exponentially so if not more. 
Eventually you reach a cutoff point where you would need to do a very large amount of work for a very small increase in perceived intelligence.
It's semi possible, but it is not really cost effective.
 
I want actual physics!
One can shout, but all that is possible at the moment is to get simplistic approximations of gravity.

Technology is limited, games have a budget, and humanity is yet to create an actual AI.

Posted by billnyethesciencepie
@Tennmuerti: All these issues will no doubt be solved when Duke comes out next year
Posted by FancySoapsMan

Play online.

Posted by Sweep
@FancySoapsMan said:
" Play online. "
I gotta agree with this, I surrendered most AI competitiveness for real opponents a while back. They are a lot harder to outwit :S and you get a lot more satisfaction having defeated them.
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