As the gaming industry has become more sophisticated with its in-game AI systems, gamers have had to think more deeply about their actions and the results of them. This has created some of the most memorable experiences this generation, and Metal Gear Solid V is a fine example of AI at its best, but Hitman looks to take things further with its AI.
In the new Hitman gamers will need to be thoughtful and mindful of their actions because the game’s AI aren’t just mindless cones for players to step around. They will tangibly and intelligently impact the way you play. Hannes Seifert, who is the Studio Head at IO Interactive, talked about the size of Hitman‘s levels as well as how the game’s AI quite possibly may be setting a new standard in the industry for NPC AI.
“We have very elaborate, thick and detailed locations now, and they are bigger than we’ve ever done by far, and we simulate more AI at a much deeper level. They react to things like if you crouch, people will look at you and say, ‘why are you crouching?’ You can confuse them, you can use them for your assassinations, for your plans. AI also carries weapons, they can escort you out areas now instead of shooting you when it’s just a civilian trespassing in the living room.
“All of these things we were able to add to our AI system. I’m really happy with what we’ve done with rendering, audio technology, the size of the world and stuff like that is all great. For the gameplay, I think the actual AI mechanics are the most sophisticate we’ve had in any game so far. When you look at other games I hope you see that we are close to setting a benchmark,” Seifert told byteclay.com
IO Interactive has created systems that work hand-in-hand and as players will see in the Hitman beta this weekend, AI isn’t overcome by the simplest of actions. Thinking a few steps ahead before you make your next move is often the best course of action, particularly as you learn the mechanics and rules of Hitman.
Gamers will be able to intelligently use AI to help complete their missions, and distractions can come into play quite often. Seifert explained a few of the abilities or things players can do with AI in order to complete any given mission.
“We have a few new features that we are very proud of like NPCs can now become unconscious, so when you knock them out, they’re not dead. You can kill them afterwards, but if only want to kill your target but still want to get a disguise without killing a civilian, then you can do that. If you let the NPC you knocked out lie around, then someone will find him or can depending on where he is and wake him up again.
“We have the escorting, which a really big step forward for us in making the game have more plausible game roles. Let’s say you are at the party and go into an office where there is a security guard, in past games they’ve would’ve just started shooting, but now they will start to usher you out. First, they warn you, if you don’t do it, they then start arresting you and usher you out into the area you can be in. AI also react to weapons. Civilians fetch guards, guards pick them up and store them in stash points and things like that,” Seifert said.
Hitman is set to launch this coming March 11 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC. We’ll see then and throughout the year if IO Interactive’s AI truly has set a new benchmark in the gaming industry.