BioShock Infinite AI Concerns Explained By Dev

Adam Barnes


Don't worry, nothing is wrong with the AI in BioShock Infinite. It's "definitely not Call Of Duty".

Published on Dec 12, 2012

When BioShock Infinite's latest gameplay was revealed over the weekend at the VGAs, many took to the internet to show concern over shoddy AI.

"Bullet sponges" was the term most commonly used, while others suggested the enemies inability to detect DeWitt, the player character in BioShock Infinite.

Sharing those concerns we asked Irrational Games level designer Shawn Elliott if he had seen these issues and whether or not anything was being done about it.

"When I saw those comments," Elliott told us, "I thought 'what did they see?' so I turned it on and I looked and I was like ‘oh no, I see a couple of things that are happening here'.

"The initial AIs in that sequence when you see the thing in its entirety, they’re distracted in combat – so it’s Vox and they’re fighting Founders – and so when you’re pulling in on that line their attention is very much directed at those guys on the ship that are flying in and are they’re attacking them.

"But you don’t see that in the frame and in the trailer and it just looks as though they are guys staring off somewhere and they don’t know you’re there – which is, of course, the case, at that point they don’t know you’re there.

"And then there’s another thing that we probably didn’t get across, that those guys in there – the ones with the rockets and the flak – they’re heavy duty enemies, so that means that they might seem a little bullet-spongey cause by design they take quite a few hits to take down."

There's a reason for all this, though. Elliott claims the later enemies are intended to take more damage so you'll have a "prolonged combat narrative".

"So the Handyman is the biggest example that we’ve show to date," says Elliott, "where the course of your fight requires you to draw on your powers – on tears.

"It’s definitely not Call Of Duty where you aim at his head and you click a button once and he’s dead and it doesn’t matter because a million more are just going to keep coming that basically work in the same way. It’s just a different type of game."

The armour works as part of this, for example, with Elliott telling us that each piece of armour can be destroyed to deal increased damage to any exposed parts. At this point, he will "react the same way as the lowest level AI will."

Elliott eases any concerns by finishing "there’s most certainly not an issue of the AI going to shit or searching for someone to fix things."

So there you go, problem solved. Hopefully.



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