Ubisoft also makes some very grandiose claims about Far Cry 2′s AI, which makes me far more leery than any promises of beautiful graphics or realistic physics. Every game I’ve seen that promises realistic artificial intelligence has fallen short. It’s not about bad AI, but more about developers making promises they can’t back up. According to Ubisoft, Far Cry 2 will sport complex, nonscripted artificial intelligence that has enemies and NPCs reacting to personal needs. I’ve heard that enemy soldiers will seek shade when it’s hot, take breaks then they’re tired, and seek out food when they’re hungry. Combine these claims with a sprawling world and I find myself having flashbacks of the buildup to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Bethesda Softworks promised some amazingly realistic behavior in its NPCs, but it didn’t quite make it. The game was still very good and its characters occasionally showed glimpses of intelligence, but it didn’t live up to the hype. I saw an enemy medic pick up a wounded soldier to carry him to safety in Far Cry 2 and was impressed by the action, but until I play the final game myself and see that sort of behavior manifest consistently, I’ll take the promises of AI with a generous spoonful of salt.
I seriously agree with the skepticism. One thing that Far Cry 2 has going for its AI is that Crytek is not doing it. Far Cry had gaping holes in it and Crysis continues that trend (see my observations on Crysis at Post-Play’em.). That being said, I would seriously like to see the claims come true, of course. Anything that advances the technology of autonomous agent-based AI is cool with me.