Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is gaining a lot of momentum in the world of technology. With each passing year, AI becomes more and more visible in our everyday surroundings and the various AI trends that pop up. In fact, there are a lot of examples of AI applications that you do not notice. However, when you find out about them, a lot of them may surprise you, especially when you discover AI games.
There is another visible layer to the story of artificial intelligence. AI games, unknown to most, can predict where AI is heading. Games get better each year, and that is the result of their game development backbones getting stronger.
What Is AI in Gaming?
There are people who say that the best AI applications in gaming are those that are not obvious. With a variety of types, AI games evolve every year. For each type, games will use AI differently. Most of the time, AI generates the responses and behaviors of non-playable characters. It is most needed there because these characters need to mimic human-like intelligence.
Before that, AI was only used in predicting your next best move. In this era of gaming, AI enhances your game’s graphics and solves game conundrums with (and for) you. AI games are not in a parasitic relationship with AI, though. A lot of AI advancements exist because of research for game development. Deep learning, after all, is not just for entertainment. For example, Sophia the Robot, while entertaining, is for educational purposes too.
But this article is about the challenge AI poses to each gamer. This list compiles how AI exists in different games, and how gamers have to up the ante with each game.
15 AI Games You Should Play Right Now
AI Dungeon 2
AI dungeon is a passion project of Nick Walton and game publisher, Latitude. The premise for the game is simple: dungeons and dragons (D&D), but with an AI game master. Many players go for the improvised adventure experience when playing AI Dungeon. With D&D’s large physical following, this is no surprise.
AI Dungeon is a text generation AI and bases its moves on the information you feed it. With entry from you, the game provides you with more context of your “adventure.”
The game is open-source and is open for revisions up to this day. It is also free to play, and if you’re interested, you can have a round of AI Dungeon right now. Remember, though, that AI game masters cannot match a human’s ability to imagine and create, so it is your duty to keep your gameplay fun and memorable.
The Last of Us
The Last of Us amassed a dedicated fandom since its 2013 release by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The game is a perfected survival trope. It has third-person perspectives, plague storylines, and an enigmatic duo, Joel and Ellie. This survival game does not use AI sparingly. All characters have traits of their own, and their responses will vary according to your (player’s) choices. The game has a deep running plotline, so choosing where it goes is up to you.
For example, when under attack, non-playable characters can call you for help or ambush your blind spots. It will feel like a real battle, with even your teammates running out of ammo. Characters will somehow think for themselves, and your companion is not an exception. Ellie has the initiative to defeat enemies even when you are not controlling her. She can disclose the enemy location and use different objects as a line of defense.
The best AI games do not only deepen a storyline but provide you support in playing, too. If you’re not in on The Last Of Us craze yet, you definitely should.
First Encounter Assault Recon (or F.E.A.R.) is often on the list of AI games you should play. This list is no exception.
It is important to learn where AI game innovation came from, and F.E.A.R. plays a large part in its development. Even though it was released 15 years ago, the AI in this game is still impressive.
A game shooter AI game, F.E.A.R. brings non-playable characters to life. Your opponents tell you what they are about to do and what they plan on doing. Hiding somewhere does not throw the AI’s trail off. In fact, this may be its perfect chance to attack.
With F.E.A.R., you are kept on your toes. The AI processes sudden changes well, and you will feel like you are playing against real, smart, people. A lot of gamers believe this game holds up despite the time that has passed.
Have a piece of gaming history with you and get F.E.A.R. for PC.
Left 4 Dead
AI games flourish when it is in the shooting genre. Why? There are a lot of last-minute variables in first-person shooting games, and it is AI’s machine learning that keeps these games from going stale.
Left 4 Dead is another example of an AI game you should play. It uses AI to keep the game’s pacing stable, controlling enemy movements. These “movements” relate to the number of zombies appearing, should they appear. AI also controls whom they will appear to.
While people will not grasp the amount of AI there is in their AI games, most believe that this is a sign of a successful AI game. When AI inconspicuously affects your gameplay, it does its job right.
Grab your Left 4 Dead copies on Steam or Amazon.
Minecraft has consistently been a popular game since 2012. Its sandbox capabilities, with no specific goals, make it a favorite of many gamers. It can be a relaxing game, or a stressful one, depending on how you want to build your Minecraft world.
Of course, those who are looking for a challenge, Minecraft offers different modes you can play under. Adventure mode and spectator mode are fan favorites. For the most part, though, this game is never-ending. It is like an online Lego game where you keep building.
The game uses AI in order to adapt to each player’s gameplay. Through each creation, players make a more unique world. AI games like these make sure that players’ worlds remain intact yet exclusive.
This game has the football-meets-cars dynamic gamers did not know they needed.
Rocket League is a successful online multiplayer game with a universally simple premise: play football while in a car. Players will kick and pass balls using their rocket-powered cars.
The AI in this game is subtle. It is used in ball strategies, especially where balls land at the beginning of the game. This is not specific to AI games, but it does know how to use AI to its advantage.
Download this popular game on Steam or Amazon and get in on the fun of playing football on rocket cars.
Esports favorite, StarCraft II, introduces you to the sci-fi roster of AI games. It uses AI to generate a complex, multifaceted world for rich gameplay. StarCraft’s success has spawned a large following built across two decades.
When playing StarCraft II, players must choose between three different alien races. Their choices will affect the capabilities and personalities of their characters. After, they are to build their own “city.” A set number of characters work together in building structures and innovating technology. This is possible through resource harvesting, something you begin.
Players win if their economies are balanced and stable. Their macro and microeconomics must work hand-in-hand for the betterment of their civilizations. In 1v1 mode, you battle it out with an AI system. These systems are stronger each year. Last year, an AI system reached “Grand Master” level all on its own, without prior game restrictions.
Are you up for the challenge? Explore StarCraft II on its official website.
Stockfish is an open-source chess game available on the internet. As with encrypted messaging apps, being open-source means that it is frequently audited and updated. Every few months, its system is enhanced and made harder.
In this game, you have a round of chess with an AI opponent. It is one of the strongest AI machines you can battle, and not a lot have won against the machine.
You can download the game from the official Stockfish website.
Google Quick Draw
AI games do not have to be over-stylistic or grand to be fun and interesting. Such is the case with Google Quick Draw.
Founded by a creative technologist, Jonas Jongejan, Google Quick Draw is a game of pictionary with AI. In this game, you draw what’s according to a prompt, and wait for the machine to guess what you are drawing.
This game uses machine learning in identifying your drawings. Each stroke and each line feeds into what the machine knows of objects/people/places. “Quick, Draw!” is a free and fun game you can play through a quick Google search, and you can actually play it now. It is also a good stepping stone into machine learning if you’re interested.
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Like Minecraft, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild uses AI for world-building purposes. Because it is an open world, people want to explore every inch and corner of Zelda’s universe. Still, there must be some science put into place for the fantasy world to make some sense.
Unknown to most, it is AI that makes sure this open-world functions under the same sets of rules. This is difficult to maintain since fantasy realms have a lot of reality bent to their favor. Nature is exaggerated in the Legend of Zelda. However, it is still built on the same principles. If you want to keep warm, use a flaming sword. Should you want to cook, have a fire.
AI has these rules in place. Since the game has a strong base, players can go to town with their imaginations. AI games are smart, but they are also a gateway to creativity.
FIFA has proven its legitimacy because of its long life in the gaming industry. Most gamers have had a round of FIFA in their lifetimes. This keeps FIFA from delivering stagnant games.
FIFA’s latest releases use a new system called football intelligence, guided by AI abilities. Like with its world-building uses, AI makes sure that the balls act better with the laws of physics. Dribblers will be given more time and more space, and through this, skill enhancement takes place.
AI is also apparent through your teammates, making it easier (or harder, depending on how you play) for you to control the game.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 uses AI for its non-playable characters. Each character is brought to life because of machine learning technology. Reactions are almost genuine, and each move is a response to your choices. Your clothing decisions will get a few snide remarks, and your guns will inadvertently hurt even the smallest of animals. These are small game details, but added together, you will find that AI games provide richer experiences.
Alien: Isolation is another first-person shooter game on this AI games list. As mentioned above, AI in games like this provides dynamic enemies. Even non-playable characters are enhanced. The premise of Alien: Isolation is a reverse-predator/prey gameplay. Where in most shooting games you have the equipment to fight with dangerous sentient beings, this game does the opposite. You will battle aliens while they hunt you.
These hunter aliens run on AI programming. Their behaviors are because of machine learning. Your alien enemies have the capability to hide in trees and outsmart your strategies.
There is great irony in using machines to make games more unpredictable and believable. Still, Alien: Isolation promises fun, terrifying gameplay, with jump scares and hidden enemies. Play Alien: Isolation by learning how to download Steam games.
Facebook is already dipping its toe in the AI world through various products like the Facebook AR glasses. This time around, Facebook is using AI in their games. Facebook’s Darkforest uses AI in running an intense game of Go, a Chinese board game with almost an infinite number of moves. With gameplay quite limitless, this is the perfect avenue for AI to step in as humans’ competitors. AI games like Darkforest (or Darkfores2) combine neural networks and search-based methods in planning the next best move. It predicts your next turn, and it makes decisions based on the predictions.
Many players take Darkforest as a big AI challenge. When push comes to shove, there are a lot of factors that play into winning Go. There are probability, statistics, and good-old-fashioned strategy. Machine learning evaluates these factors and plays with them. This is the ultimate AI vs human challenge.
You can play Darkforest on your Facebook app.
As seen above, Go is an on-demand AI game. Based on the Chinese game of trapping your opponent’s stones, Go’s simple methods make it a level playing field for AI and humans. A game of Go ends when all possible moves have been played, like in chess. When both players are done, the winner is the one with the highest captured stones.
Like Darkforest, AlphaGo Zero uses deep neural networks in predicting moves. Specifically, it uses “advanced search tree” methods. Put simply, it uses a network to select the next moves, and another network to predict the game winner. Machine learning makes it possible for your AI opponents to keep improving after each game since it grows from its mistakes. Moreover, it does not get tired of playing, which is its edge against humans. AlphaGo AI has already defeated the world’s Go champions. The next challengers should step up to the plate.
Benefits of AI games
AI in gaming posits many challenges for gamers. Using deep-learning, AI games can always be one step ahead of you. Your strategies will be challenged, and your quick wits will be polished. As mentioned above, some games have non-playable characters almost “thinking” for themselves. Games will have differing, yet automatic responses to your in-game decisions.
If you don’t want this reality, this is where AI games are headed, at the very least.
Larger Gameplay Worlds
It is not all about the challenge, though. For those who play games to have a relaxing time, or play games for world-building, AI games have something for you too. AI technology has the ability to expound on your game’s other-worldly characteristics. In fact, it deepens the myth of your games. In Legend of Zelda, AI keeps science and magic working in harmony to propel your story.
AI games are an avenue for your imagination, giving you access to realities that are not what you usually see.
Useful Beyond Gaming
AI has different applications. These expand as the capabilities of AI also expand, and this is where gaming comes in.
Since the gaming industry is always cooking up something new, they bring AI advancement with them. Their continuous funding and support make it possible for them to explore the possibilities of AI—how it thinks and learns.
There are a lot of AI applications you did not know you were using. Some of them may surprise you.
As with anything relating to technology, it is how we choose to use tech that defines us. AI games are examples of avenues for human creativity and the human spirit. In this industry, gamers and developers are always seeking to better themselves. AI keeps them on their toes and makes sure that they are always one step ahead of themselves.