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7 Open-World Games With Unpredictable AI

Highlights

  • Unpredictable AI in open-world games can add charm and entertainment, but also present challenges for players.
  • Games like
    Baldur’s Gate 3
    ,
    Cyberpunk 2077
    , and
    Skyrim
    feature AI that can surprise and disrupt players’ actions.
  • The AI in
    Grand Theft Auto 5
    and
    Far Cry 6
    can be impressive and smart but also provide humorous moments and unpredictable behavior.

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Whether through the intention of the developers of an oversight, there are some open-world games where the dangers don’t come from the sprawling map sizes, but from the unpredictability of the AI within. Even some of the best open-world games feature AI enemies that act in such an unpredictable manner, players might end up frustrated or even simply laughing at whatever is occurring.

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An unpredictable AI within an open-world game can do many different things to halt the player’s easy actions. Whether it’s a guard that has eyes in the back of their head, a follower that just won’t get out of the way, or simply an NPC character that does something so unexpected and wacky.

7 Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldurs Gate 3 Thorm Malus

One of the newest games to hit the market is Baldur’s Gate 3, a game that has been topping the Steam Charts, and for good reason. Players are enjoying Baldur’s Gate 3 for all the right reasons, and part of the near-endless charm comes from the AI. Players can find the AI characters in all sorts of compromising, funny and awkward situations that make exploration worthwhile.

However, aside from the scripted and unpredictable AI moments, some enemy AI moments will certainly make players think more due to their unpredictability. Some AI enemies can truly think outside the box when it comes to combat and will pair themselves with their allies to make life harder for the player. For instance, an enemy that has been sleeping may be shoved out of the way by their friend, an unpredictable action that just saved their life.

6 Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 Johnny Silverhand

For a game set in a dystopian future, it’s no surprise that the AI would be a tad surprising at times. Cyberpunk 2077 features many different ways for the AI to try and mess up V and Johnny Silverhand. Whether it’s the poor drivers that will crash into V on the road, or the random burst of gang members in Night City that will start shooting and looting. Part of the dangers of Cyberpunk 2077 comes from the unpredictable nature of its AI.

It works in favor of Cyberpunk 2077, as there are many different enemy types to burden players. A Cyberpsycho will always be a dangerous threat, but players will need to assess just how dangerous, and what quick-thinking move the opponent will use.

A close up image of the Dragonborn from The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim.

The AI in Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls series has been the butt of many jokes over the years, but those are usually out of endearment and love. Most notably, the AI in Skyrim can be laughable at times, with enemies being shot with arrows in the head just for them to assume it was their imagination playing tricks on them.

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Yet, the truly unpredictable nature of the AI comes from if and when they want to be harmed. Some of the AI in Skyrimwill run away from the player, or engage in combat just to yield. Companions and followers can be a true nuisance as they stand in the way, and then get annoyed when the player pushes them to get past. In some instances, the unpredictable AI will alert all enemies to the player’s presence, despite not even moving a muscle.

4 Grand Theft Auto 5

Grand Theft Auto 5 Franklin on the phone

The AI is fairly smart in Grand Theft Auto 5. However, where it really becomes unpredictable, is when enemies decide to become the Terminator. Some enemies, seemingly randomly, will have a ridiculous amount of health. This means that players can run them over, shoot them, blow them up, and these enemies will just keep getting back on their two feet.

The AI in Grand Theft Auto 5 is an impressive example of what AI is capable of with NPCs and enemies, but they can provide some humorous moments, especially when they will intentionally swerve into players in their cars, or get themselves into a wild police chase.

3 Death Stranding

Walking in Death Stranding

There isn’t the most combat-heavy experience for those that play Death Stranding. The game features a few enemy types with MULES and BTs, and both can be a challenge in their right thanks to the nature of their AI. When it comes to MULES, players might not know what threat they face. Whether they want Sam Bridges dead, or just the delivery parcels he carries on his back.

RELATED: Most Stressful Open-World Games

These enemies can use many tools at their disposal, from live rounds of gunfire to guns that simply steal parcels. Yet, even more unpredictable still, are BTs. Who’s to say when a BT zone will infect the map, or worse still, what powerful BT will emerge to fight Sam when he is dragged into their depths.

2 Far Cry 6

Dani Royas from Far Cry 6, talking to Philly

It’s no secret that the enemies in the Far Cry games are less than intelligent. This can be said for Far Cry 6, in which the enemies often react, or fail to react to the absurdity around them. These enemies can be driving cars, to suddenly stop and start shooting every bullet they have into an animal that is simply trotting past. Or, to the player character, who is just trying to get to the next mission objective.

The pathing and combat of the Far Cry 6 AI is somewhat puzzling, but due to its unpredictable nature, it adds a certain charm that doesn’t just mean the AI is terrible. While there are rooms for improvement, some players might like the challenge and the silliness of the game’s AI.

1 Elden Ring

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The harshest of challenges in Elden Ring comes from AI. Whilst many players may fall victim to harsh cliffs and invading players, the true enemy to most will be the AI in both the normal enemy types and the best Elden Ring bosses. Players can expect an array of unpredictable fights from the AI, whether it’s their overwhelming numbers or attack pattern.

Many Elden Ring bosses have given players a true challenge due to the unpredictable nature of their fighting style. Every boss plays differently, and they won’t all just strafe and wait for an attack. Enemies like Malenia Blade of Miquella will ensure the player’s demise at least once due to the difficulty of their AI nature.

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Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama, a lifelong enthusiast of Artificial Intelligence, has been exploring technology and the digital realm since childhood. Known for his creative thinking, he's dedicated to improving AI experiences for all, making him a respected figure in the field. His passion, curiosity, and creativity drive advancements in the AI world.
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