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BioWare ramping AI and enemy design for Mass Effect 3

Thursday, 7th July 2011 01:29 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Enemies in Mass Effect 3 are to be smarter and more complementary, BioWare has said, resulting in tougher combat all round.

“If there’s one thing the programmers always want to do better it’s definitely the AI, so we’ve done a lot of work on that,” Mass Effect 3 gameplay designer Christina Norman toldXbox 360 World.

“We still have some more work to go, but we want you to feel that the enemies you’re fighting are more complex, that they have multiple behaviours, and that they’re reacting to what’s going on. ”

Norman, who recently left BioWare Edmonton for a new position in Los Angeles, said that turning the difficulty up in Mass Effect 3 will trigger different enemy behaviour, some of which never occur on lower settings.

“Now we look at enemies as a force, with units within the force, and each of them has a role,” she said.

“You end up with this really cool chessboard thing, where you have a knight and a bishop, they’ll work together in one way but if you have a knight and a rook, they’ll work together in a different way. It’s giving our level designers and combat designers a lot more opportunities, not with heavy scripting, but just by combining these pieces that work together in new and interesting ways.”

For smarter enemies, you need smarter players, and BioWare are pushing for players to think about mobility.

“So the player is never thinking, ‘I’m walking into this safe place with great cover, I’ll stay there and fight’ but more ‘how am I going to move through the battlefield as the enemies move through the battlefield against me?’” Norman explained.

Bosses and heavy enemies will see a makeover too, with fewer “bullet sponge” situations.

“If you can interact with the enemy in specific ways by shooting at weak points? Use the environment against them? Those are the factors that make larger enemies more interesting to fight,” Norman commented.

Mass Effect 3 is due on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in March 2012.

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5 Comments

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  1. Erthazus

    AI in Mass Effect 2: Run and shoot.

    Thats it. Maybe they will learn to hide this time? At least?

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Phoenixblight

    Its really ensuring that she still talks about Mass Effect 3 even when there is not a paycheck or the fear of losing her job for saying something wrong.

    Can’t wait to see how this new AI will work.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. aleph31

    What about mentioning huge progress on the story-line? Because grabbing some mates and fighting a final boss was not precisely an example of good narrative…

    Why don’t they perform the final step and throw third-person away to become a real FPS?

    #3 3 years ago
  4. endgame

    hell yeah baby! this is what I’m talking about. insanity in me2 was too easy. it’s good to hear that they will be improving this area of the game as well. f**k I so love this game company.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Edo

    Since it’s ME related http://nerdreactor.com/2011/07/06/legendary-pictures-to-present-mass-effect-movie-and-pacific-rim-at-comic-con-2011/ .

    #5 3 years ago