This game will have it all

Check out F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon is what it stands for, but really, it's more about being scared out of the room and hiding under a blanket with a baseball bat, calling friends over and sucking your thumb. I've written on this before, but it's very close to being released, and it looks unbelievable. The demo was a short 10-15 minutes the first time through. I got chills each of the three times I played it. The graphics are unbelievable, the particle system and effects also, the sounds, the lighting, and now the Artificial Intelligence.

AI has always been an interesting subject to me. It's incredibly complex, but that hasn't stopped me from reading books on genetic algorithms, path finding routines, and other broad subjects. The AI that this game uses is called Goal Oriented Action Planning, or (GOAP). You can read about it here under the header "Designer Diaries". It doesn't get deep into technical details, but it is just a fascinating read, and I can't wait to play it.

AI is the next thing in games. You have these games that look outstanding but have the dumbest enemies ever. They pop their heads up in rhythm, it's like that groundhog game where you use the big padded hammer, only easier, since those are more random. Games even realistically portray interactions between objects pretty well. If there are a few wooden boxes stacked, and you shoot the bottom one, it might not get that far from underneath the other ones, but the resulting effect is that the tower of boxes will probably fall towards you, if the bullet doesn't just go right through. They haven't done that in games yet, realistic surfaces, at least not really well. A great effect in this game is watching its particle system. Bullets spark metal, blow concrete off walls, creating huge chunks in the wall, shatter glass, and grenades. Cool game huh?

Now, add SLOW MOTION!! Slow down time in the game and watch all this stuff happen. I tell you it's a thing of beauty.

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