As we wrote in issue 82's sizeable, gosh-darned interesting feature on artificial intelligence, "good" AI doesn't necessarily mean "more effective" AI. In fact, the opposite is often true. Coding a soldier who can shoot a man through the nostril at 1000 paces is comparatively straightforward, and soldiers who do this consistently are seldom much fun to fight.
What you want, rather, is AI that acts and reacts in a human way, and as luck would have it, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier's new computer-controlled squaddies appear to fit the bill. "When we started to work on co-op the first main issue was AI," creative director Jean-Marc Geoffroy told Beefjack in an interview. "And it was very simple, as you have a lot of shooters where the AI is player-centric, so the AI knows where the player is, but we were not able to do so because with four human players you don't know what they are doing, especially as the levels are pretty open, so you don't know."
In a move which calls to mind Assassin's Creed online, where the challenge is to distinguish opposing player from bovine NPC backdrop, Future Soldier's AI grunts can't tell a human being at a glance. "What we have decided to do - and really, what the most difficult challenge was - is that the AI will not know where the player is unless it sees the player, and will never know if the player is an AI teammate or human being.
"It sounds stupid to say that but it's a very, very important point. When your AI doesn't know who is behind the ghost, it changes everything in terms of how you code, how you programme the AI. So, the AI is basically reacting according to its own life, the situation, and the coordination between all the AI."
For more about how you'll be fighting those Future Soldiers, peruse our most recent Ghost Recon: Future Soldier hands on.