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Mass Effect 3: 'We overhaul the AI every day,' reveals BioWare

Developer aiming for "really cool chessboard" battles

BioWare's revealed that it overhauls Mass Effect 3's enemy AI "pretty much every day" in an attempt to make the third game's sci-fi shootouts more complex.


Speaking in the third and final instalment of Xbox World 360's Mass Effect 3 interview series, game designers Christina Norman and Corey Gaspur describe the process of creating "really cool chessboard" battles for ME3.

"We do an AI overhaul pretty much every day! If there's one thing the programmers always want to do better it's definitely the AI, so we've done a lot of work on that," Norman explained.

"We still have some more work to go, but we want you to feel that the enemies you're fighting are more complex, that they have multiple behaviours, and that they're reacting to what's going on."

She added: "With Mass Effect 2 we had this 'let's come up with cool enemies' approach, and we made each enemy as an individual. Now we look at enemies as a force, with units within the force, and each of them has a role.

"You end up with this really cool chessboard thing, where you have a knight and a bishop, they'll work together in one way but if you have a knight and a rook, they'll work together in a different way.

"It's giving our level designers and combat designers a lot more opportunities, not with heavy scripting, but just by combining these pieces that work together in new and interesting ways."

Gaspur added: "And enemies like the Cerberus Troopers are elites. They can do everything that Shepard can do now as well, so you're fighting a force that's a lot more intelligent this time around, and a lot more punishing. The game is just intense even when you play it on Normal."

Read the full chat over in XBW's Mass Effect 3 interview.