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Submitted by Septic 969d ago | opinion piece

What happened to The Last of Us’ A.I?

The Last of Us has been met with critical acclaim and for good reason; Naughty Dog have bested themselves once again with their latest game and this is no mean feat considering the sheer quality of the seminal Uncharted franchise that helped define the PlayStation experience this generation. However, the Artificial Intelligence leaves a lot to be desired and we discuss why. (PS3, The Last Of Us)

Richard Cypher  +   969d ago
Searching for hits :p
Agent Smith  +   969d ago
Making your partner ai's invisible was a design choice.
colonel179  +   969d ago
Correct! They said that if it wasn't, the player would get frustrated to be found by bad guys because of the AI's fault. So it was a conscious decision.
GDDR6_2014  +   969d ago
You don't see a problem when your teammates can run past clickers? How's that for immersion
InTheLab  +   969d ago
The AI in this game is amazing. There's times when your partner will run into an enemy and that's immersion breaking at times, but the alternative is one long escort quest and plenty of broken controllers.

It's the same thing with the Elizabeth AI that everyone went nuts for in Bioshock infinite.
Old McGroin  +   969d ago
@ GDDR6_2014

It might break the immersion from time to time but I'm glad Naughty Dog allowed this. Remember how damn annoying Sheva was in Resident Evil 5? Imagine that level of annoyance in The Last Of Us, it would break the game. It's excellent just the way it is, it might break immersion for a few seconds every now and then but this is still an incredibly tense game, one of the best I've personally played in a few years.
AsheXII  +   969d ago
I see a lot of people showing videos of poo Ai behavior in the game, just because you cant accept the game isn't perfect doesn't mean the article is looking for hits. Its just an issue of the game.
Ezz2013  +   969d ago
there is nothing wrong with this game AI itself
the Enemies AI is incredible
hand down the best i have seen in any game
and i love how they react in different ways every time
it was very fun toying with the AI in this game

however this article is talking about something that was ND choice from the start and most of us know it already
it might break immersion and i can understand that
but it would annoy alot and would bring the game down
because ellie would break joel stealth
when an enemy all of the sudden notice her
and you have to restart the part over and over again

this would make hate the game right ?!
DigitalRaptor  +   969d ago
Well said Ezz.

We all knew the AI was going to be advanced, and very advanced it is. At times, the system can hiccup and guess that's understandable for such complex a system, but it does break the immersion somewhat.

However 95% of the time, it's better than most AI systems I've ever seen or experienced. It's incredibly tense and thrilling. Overcoming the enemies made me feel a matched sense of relief of the characters, which is fantasic. When this game is about you feeling what Joel and Ellie would be feeling, they've definitely accomplished what they set out to, at least as far as I'm concerned. If this is just the start of the evolution of AI systems, next-gen will be a treat in that regard.
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leogets  +   968d ago
only time the ai are poo is on easy settings. play it on normally then its tip top.
avengers1978  +   969d ago
It's kind of funny that the people with you can run around unhindered, but there have been plenty of times when I'm playing when I'm glad they can, cause playing it on hard mode gets me killed a lot, can only imagine the frustration of my AI partner getting me killed...
As someone else said, same thing in bioshock infinite.
OlgerO  +   969d ago
I was very impressed with the AI. Cant think of a game were it was better
Kingdom Come  +   969d ago
Agreed, Ellie's AI was incredible, as was the enemies flanking and strategic approaches to combat...
asmith2306  +   969d ago
I agree. Obviously looking for hits. The enemy tactics were excellent and the AI friendlies are really helpful and never get in the way.
Transporter47  +   969d ago
Wonder what difficulty they played at. So far the AI is really smart. I'm playing on the harder difficulty of course ;)

Edit: A.I in its own its really smart, there are times when they have actually come from behind me and killed me and times where they act a bit unnatural but the A.I is one of the best ones i have ever experience.
#3 (Edited 969d ago ) | Agree(15) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
Soldierone  +   969d ago
It says they played on Hard.
brodychet  +   969d ago
im playing on survival and it's so ridiculous. The enemy AI is so ruthless, but ellie steps in at the perfect times and saves my ass. (sometimes)
Number-Nine  +   969d ago
the AI is downright weird at times running all over the place and in circles.

ps: playing on hard.
#4 (Edited 969d ago ) | Agree(16) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
2pacalypsenow  +   969d ago
And here i thought Humans infected by a fungus that controls your brain where supposed to be Masterful tacticians . Im Selling this game right now stupid A.I /S
strigoi814  +   969d ago
A.I. Is just more smarter than who wrote this..
ExCest  +   969d ago
You should use correct grammar if you want to insult someone's intelligence.
WeAreLegion  +   969d ago
Sets the new industry standard for AI...

...gets criticized for poor AI.


Really, the only "bad AI" I've encountered is Ellie or another friendly AI running into enemies and not alerting them. It doesn't particularly hurt the game, at all. It breaks the illusion every once in awhile, but it may have required months more of AI work to get that balance down.
Ezz2013  +   969d ago
just like what Agent said
"Making your partner ai's invisible was a design choice."
untill you pick a visible fight with the enemies

and ND comment on that already :
"""Hey thanks for the question; someone downvoted you but I countered!
That was absolutely intentional, and it was a very hard decision to make. As Sessler and a few other reviews pointed out, the alternative would be extremely infuriating. We are trying to make a game where stealth is an important aspect, and we knew we wouldn't be able to guarantee the buddy AI would be able to stay hidden as well as the player. If the buddies were seen by enemies, it would be extremely frustrating.
The buddy AI was actually what I have spent the last four months or so writing, and I think we did a good job of making them seem believable. Ellie will stick in cover with you and hunker under your protective arm, and she is good at keeping up with you.
The best thing is that because the AI is emergent, the playthroughs will be different for everyone, and different on successive playthroughs.""& quot ;

they didn't want the game to feel like an escort mission and they didn't want ellie to break joel stealth and you have to restart the part over and over again ....that would have been very bad for me
that was smart from ND
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GDDR6_2014  +   969d ago
My problem is not that enemies don't target your buddies , shouldn't enemies and your teammates at least avoid each other? I see them right next to each other and nothing happens

The first time I saw Ellie run right past a clicker I want to scream "omg Ellie you're going to die!", but nothing happens

Just a small complaint but it does break the immersion
colonel179  +   969d ago
I've encountered is Ellie or another friendly AI running into enemies and not alerting them.

Design choice by developers. Read first comment.
Pintheshadows  +   969d ago
I guess the issue is that you would then have to constantly keep an eye on Ellie which would be very very frustrating. However, I got rumbled earlier when the AI saw Tess so it does seem to notice the other partner. Just not Ellie. It is ok though. I bricked the runner to death. Bricks ftw!
Conzul  +   969d ago
I thought the idea was that Ellie was a child and so quieter and harder for the clickers to notice.

The Hunter AI noticed Ellie plenty of times on my playthrough and I actually had to save her a few times.
theenglishman  +   969d ago
I beat the entire game on Hard and my AI partner did get me caught exactly once, when Tess decided it was a good idea to fire her pistol in that crowded mall full of Clickers.

I mean no AI can be perfectly human-friendly, but I think Naughty Dog should be congratulated for how little its friendly AI sucks compared to the competition. And no, that's not just a thinly disguised left-handed compliment >_>
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Picnic  +   969d ago
Rage had great AI.
Skips  +   969d ago
They ran at you in zig zags. lol
Riderz1337  +   969d ago
Play on survivor mode. Once you do that, come talk to me about the games "poor AI".
ltachiUchiha  +   969d ago
Im on that mode right now & died freakin 45 times in the first 3 hours. Talk about ridiculously hard. Goodluck for alot of us getting the platinum lol. If u do, i tip my hat to u.
CaEsAr-  +   969d ago
I'm on it :D
GenericNameHere  +   969d ago
Haha I'm on my Survivor playthrough now! Before i continue on further though, how hard exactly is Survivor compared to Normal? And what are the differences? I just got to the woods outside Bill's Town, and I got my way through mostly by just strangling enemies, and only shooting in 2 encounters.

PS No Listen Mode is fun! I used it a lot on Normal, but since its gone on Survivor, I'm enjoying encounters more. Yeah, I die more, but I feel relieved after every encounter :)
iistuii  +   969d ago
I was hiding behind a bench & my AI partner was wandering around with her torch on. Still a great game, but I'd rather them just hide & not help than wander about when it's supposed to be a stealth part. Also I think I counted 4 time when I used the pallet trick in the water. First time I thought great idea, then after the other times I just thought maybe they could have used a barrel or a tyre. Also the ladders, too many of the same things. Really enjoyed the game, one of the best I've played.
Soldierone  +   969d ago
I think there are always going to be drawbacks. Its hard to replicate a human and human interaction, so until they start tracking us in all kinds of games and letting computers learn what we do, then it will always have these drawbacks. Its simply a person telling a computer what to do, and their are billions of scenarios at every inch, they can only cover a few hundred of them.

Plus the whole "invisible team" part is smart. Try playing other games where you sneak, mostly squad shooters, and your teams AI is horrible. You will do fine, then randomly alarms go off or your team starts shooting. It gets annoying.
nugnugs  +   969d ago
I remember Silent Hill: The Room being a pain in the arse due to having to escort someone around. She was useless and drove me mental, so I think it was a wise choice.
Soldierone  +   969d ago
Escorting anyone in any game has always made me go "oh come on, please dont make me do that!" I remember when games used to be so horrible at it. They still have issues today, but its not as bad thanks to the ability to tell people to wait.

I forgot the games name, the recent one with the towers and it looks like Gears of War, but I believe you had to escort someone in that and I was literally stuck on it for an hour because of the AI.
DigitalRaptor  +   969d ago
You thinking of Quantum Theory?
sarcastoid  +   969d ago
this was my ONLY complaint and it's a small one at that. There were MANY times a partner would literally get up from cover and RUN INTO A CLICKER... for no reason. Fortunately ND realized this and made the AI undetectable.
famoussasjohn  +   969d ago
AI was pretty damn smart. Any time I ran out of ammo in a gun battle, they would shout "He's out of ammo, flank him!" I had issues with the last section where I'd peak up for a split second and they'd shoot me instantly. They wouldn't shoot if I was still covered, but if I barely tapped to aim, they'd shoot and hit me lol. Stealth approach was a pain on that last chapter.

I liked how Ellie would throw me some ammo randomly, or a health pack, or even stun the enemy for me by throwing a brick at the enemy.
LeoDDestroyer  +   969d ago
At first I just thought she magically got ammo for you until the second time when I saw her pick up the ammo from a hunter's body. I was just about to run over to it get it too.
RM-TatoTiburon  +   969d ago
AI of this game is really bad. When you try to hide from soldiers Tess and Ellie start to run like crasy and they pass in front of the soldiers and thet not even notice them.

The most crasiest one is tess bad bad AI
plaZeHD  +   969d ago
So you think that the player should be punished just because the AI made a mistake? And may I remind you that AI is flawed, they make mistakes.
violents  +   969d ago
I think he just means that the "companion" AI should try to hide from the enemy too not run out in front of them or run into them like retards. I've seen it happen plenty of times so its good that they are invisible but they should concentrate more on hiding than being 3 feet off your ass the whole time.

Btw it is an awesome game and i'm having fun playing, I just see where the guys coming from.
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BattleTorn  +   969d ago
The game has some of the best AI, but I can understand why someone might criticize it - cause I've seen the odd hiccup.

More importantly is I think that the appreciation for the AI might be lost in the fact that the human-opponents are quite a bit easier to deal with than the infected.

And just because the "thinking" AI opponents are easier than the ones sprinting at you doesn't mean it's necessarily bad.
ThatEnglishDude  +   969d ago
As I've said before regarding the AI on this game. The AI is rather disappointing, yes - but it's more noticable than in most other games due to the fact that every other facet of the game, ie. the setting, the characters, the environments, the violence, it's all grounded in reality and the game feels really natural and real. As a result, as soon as we encounter something that seems 'gamey' or out of the ordinary, it sticks out like a sore thumb and takes away from the incredibly immersion that this game DOES manage to put forth. It's just a very jarring effect made all the more obvious by how 'real' the game feels.

That said, the AI, even from a game perspective, is below average I'd say. Even so, The Last of Us manages to create some of the most immersive atmosphere I think I've ever experienced in a game. The writing, characters and everything else is incredible. Unfortunately, the problem with The Last of Us is also it's strongest asset.
Ashby_JC  +   969d ago
Im sure you will get alot of disagrees. On this cant say ANYTHING bad about a PS3 game...even if what your saying is true.

I havent gotten far with the game. I did not know that enemies cannot see Ellie or Tess at times.

In my opinion....I would have liked to have the option to turn that on or off. I am not surprised that no one has used the LAZY dev comment that some like to throw around.

Do I think its lazy on there part....somewhat. I think they should have added a way to direct characters..even on a small level. Im thinking games like Socom, GTA4, XCOM.

Make it so that you tell a character to move to a certain spot. And let them move if they are about to be discovered. Or tell them to stay in cover. Or fire or protect themselves if need be.

Just a extra step would have been nice. But to simply just say....oh Naughty Dog was smart in making enemies NOT see Ellie is letting them OFF easy.

I am tired of games not going that extra step. I can easily see BS like this being on the next gen (xb1, PS4) there is no excuse for it In my opinion.

I am really enjoying the game at the moment. But I think I wouldnt mind stronger smarter AI comrades that I can control even in a minor way.
LeoDDestroyer  +   969d ago
There's an article on why naughty dog decided on the path they did. Basically the enemy will react to your partners if in combat, but if you're undetected and sneaking along they will not. The enemy AI is really good to me especially when they run away if the situation is not in their favor.
DialgaMarine  +   969d ago
The amazing AI is still there and just fine. It reacts based on how you play the game. If you play stealthily and carefully, of course the AI will seem a bit dumb, because it simply doesn't know your there. When it does however, that's when it starts to use strategy and cunning to take you out, and it does a pretty good job of it. I've played through several sections where I alerted the enemy, and they immediately went into using different routes and weapons to attack from a multitude of directions, sometimes traversing the entire area to flank me or come up from the rear. Completely unlike a game like CoD or Halo where the enemy AI just sits in the same exact spot, mabye moving back and forth in a lin, while the player just picks them off one by one. The AI is just fine.
plaZeHD  +   969d ago
Nothing. It's very smart. Better than every AI in the industry.
ginsunuva  +   969d ago
Some of the e3 features were missing in my playthrough.

Ellie helped stab someone who grabbed me once only.
She never picked up bricks or bottles to throw them.
Enemies never waited behind a corner to suprise me.
And they didn't yell NOOOO PLEASE DON'T NO! when I knocked them down and shotgunned their face.

Maybe I wasn't in the right context, or it doesn't happen all the time? I was slealthy most of the game.
plaZeHD  +   969d ago
You have to be more open when you engage encounters. Watch this video my buddy Aldro posted.
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Bathyj  +   969d ago
I think the thing is, those incidents arent scripted to happen everytime. You have to meet the right circumstances and have the right timing. Ive had Ellie throw a brick at someone. She missed unfortunately, so even when it triggers it not a given it will help. Just like life.

I think I've also been missing that stuff because I just played more stealthily than that first e3 walkthrough. That whole section leading up to the lift I went through undetected so naturally I didnt get to see the brick there, or the guy hear me run out of ammo or the guys leg get caught on fire. It all depends on your play style.
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Bathyj  +   969d ago
my only real gripe with the game is I wish you could shoulder swap even when not aiming to get better control of the camera.

that and drag bodies. I can't believe that's not there. it should be a requirement in every stealth game.
ginsunuva  +   969d ago
Or fire from the hip. Though I can see why that would make things too run-any gunny in the infected sections.
Bathyj  +   969d ago
Fire from hip would be completely ineffective and just burn through ammo that you dont have. Its hard enough to shoot someone when youre aiming through I guess hipfire would be good just to make them dodge. Clickers wouldnt care though.

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