Games of the past have taught us the importance and value of intelligent AI that more or less thinks for itself rather than living in a repetitive manner. AI patterns can be learned, but games that truly ask the player to be thoughtful, strategic and smart with their actions often turn out to be the most rewarding.
Ubisoft is looking to redefine its Ghost Recon franchise and is doing so by taking it into the open-world. Ghost Recon Wildlands will be a game that gives players the ultimate freedom when it comes to the missions they want to play and the order in which they want to play them.
Actions within the world of Wildlands will have an impact and effect on other AI in the world, so if you take out a cartel leader, it’ll be important to be aware of how other AI react as a result. Ghost Recon Wildlands is looking to do something meaningful and amazing with its AI, as Creative Director Eric Couzian explained to atombash.com.
“Because of the game’s structure, we don’t know what players will do and there’s this freedom of choice so we had to make a new system of AI. The AI is completely autonomous in the world and the world is living in that every civilian, every AI you’ll meet has it’s own agenda, it’s own schedule, and all of that [depends] on its faction, its job, the time of day and the weather. We can’t spawn the enemies or NPCs just around the players because we don’t know if they’ll split [up] or which mission they’ll decide to do,” Couzian said.
Much like we saw in Metal Gear Solid V where players would face a different set of enemy AI depending on the time of day they did a certain mission, Ghost Recon seems to have a similar feel. Needing to consider the time of day, weather and the other elements Couzian mentioned will help players be more strategic and thoughtful, rather than mindlessly running through the world.
Gamers will need to consider who they are going after and the cartel members they try to take out, due to the game’s ripple effect. As we mentioned, enemy AI will react to your actions and this is where Wildlands truly has some hooks. Ghost Recon Wildlands Senior Producer Nouredine Abboud spoke about the game’s narrative and what players will experience in the game.
“What’s interesting about this is that people really have the feeling that they are actually part of the story. The Ghosts are sent to Bolivia to destabilize the alliance between the cartel and government. The job is to create chaos inside this universe.
“It’s fully logical because what they are here to change the agenda for these guys, trying to trigger things to see what the consequences are and what the butterfly effect is of what they just did. Within this, the things are connected, the size of the world, the quantity of options and freedom, the story itself; it’s all part of the circle that is Ghost Recon Wildlands,” Abboud said.
Ghost Recon Wildlands will not have a linear story and its “do missions in any order you choose” style drives that home. Since gamers don’t have to play missions in any specific order, it certainly has made for some challenges on the development side. “We have spent a lot of time on making everything fit because writing a non-linear story is something that everybody is talking about, but it’s very challenging,” Couzian said.
Ubisoft Paris is currently working on Ghost Recon Wildlands and it’ll be a PS4, Xbox One and PC only game when it does release. No release date has been given for the title, though E3 is always a prime candidate for things such as that.