I usually find myself at the bottom of the scoreboard at the end of every multiplayer match. This may be a partial reason as to why I find multiplayer games boring. And then one day, I remembered an option that I had long since forgotten about; AI bots.
Granted, most games don’t have bots in their multiplayer matches, at least not as I remembered. Titanfall 2 has grunts to snipe to go along with actual human players to try to kill. Rainbow 6 Siege has the terrorists in Terrorist Hunt. And Halo has Spec Ops which is essentially just large playground maps to kill aliens. But none of those bots act like how a real human player would play in multiplayer deathmatch scenarios, which is what I’m nostalgic for. None are replacements for when you don’t have human friends to play with.
And then I started playing Perfect Dark Zero.
The controls are stiff, the movement is weird, and there are maybe two or three people playing multiplayer at any given time of day. After one too many rounds where I’m desperately searching a map for the one other player playing, I went to the AI.
Perfect Dark Zero allows bots in their matches. This is perfect when you can’t get a full squad together on a game that’s been out for fifteen years. But I don’t use it that way to round out my team.
I make it a simple 1v1 affair. You versus bot. Human versus robot. There are three different difficulty settings for the AI, going from normal (agent), to hard (perfect agent), to terminator (dark agent). Along with these settings, you can also choose behavioral patterns with the bot too. Is he the vengeful type? Is the AI a bully?
I was able to beat Agent AI pretty easily so I moved it up to Perfect Agent. Definitely tougher but I handled it. So I moved it to Dark Agent AI, and that was something else. They actively search for you (essentially bee-lining right towards you) and can headshot you quite easily. They're so good, I don't even bother waiting for human multiplayer while it tries to gather people.
The most important thing that came out of playing against the bot though; I felt the same sort of faster heart rate, stress, anxiety, and eventually elation, just like if I had played against a real human. Even better, it doesn't camp. It chases, it shoots, it finds, and then it kills.
There are other games that have bots that I’ve played recently, most notably DOOM, which lets you do a practice mode with bots. However, I didn’t find the AI all that interesting, and much prefer just blasting aliens in single player. There’s also very good and pesky bots in regular Perfect Dark. CS:GO has bots, but I just don’t like the game in general so I don’t play that one much.
*I’m still waiting for an announcement that TimeSplitters 2 will be re-released soon.*
So nowadays, when loading up a multiplayer match on other games takes too long, I just load up Perfect Dark Zero, a dark agent bot, and pick Facility (home field advantage) for a 1v1. Try it yourself and you can thank me later.
So what say you? Do you enjoy playing against bots in multiplayer scenarios as the main nemesis? Or do you prefer they just get out of the way so real humans can fight it out? Are there any games with bots that you love and want to toot its horn?