Many RTS fans are calling out "Blasphmey!" at me right now, but StarCraft's A.I. was some of the worst A.I. in the strategy game genre. Why? One word: pathing. If you ordered a group of dragoons up a cliff, you'd be lucky if three of them managed to make it up before clogging the entrance and dancing around like morons while the enemy took them out one by one. The same held true for any large ground unit, like Goliaths, Hydralisks, Ultralisks, or anything else that could block a chokepoint. Movement was a central mechanic of the game, and that was broken. It was the players who found interesting ways around this problem that kept the game alive.
In Black & White, you played a deity who kept a giant animal as a pet. Unfortunately, this animal had a habit of pooping all around your burgeoning civilization, thus making your people sick. It was difficult to deal with your pet's constant needs, but there was a way to exploit the A.I. in order to make sure your pet never went poo again. You could punish it by smacking it any time it did something wrong. If you smacked the hell out of your pet the first time it pooed, it would become forever constipated and never poo again. This broke a fundamental part of the game, and, in a less technical sense, was just plain funny.
This PC game was a failed proposition from the start. Okay, so rescuing hostages as a SWAT operative doesn't sound like a bad premise for a game, but this game's A.I. is notorious for being horrible. Hostages loved to spend their time running into walls, no matter how dangerous the situation. You could double back to make sure they knew to follow you, and they would still run into walls. And this was the best case scenario. Sometimes they would simply refuse to move and other times they would run in place for hours. The whole game revolved around rescuing this broken A.I. Trust me, it wasn't worth it.
Mega Man's bosses are known for simply repeating patterns, but Mega Man 4 had a particularly horrible instance of this. Toad Man was one of the doofiest bosses in Mega Man history. To beat him, all you had to do was just stand next to him and fire your mega buster. That's it. Any time he tried to move, just fire a simple mega buster shot. He will stand in place and take it to the face until he dies.
Sims can't climb out of a pool without a ladder. Enough said.
But if I really have to elaborate, there are plenty of other examples. For example, Sims can get themselves into a death cycle if they are both hungry and tired at the same time. They pass out because they are too tired to eat, and then wake up because they are too hungry to sleep. They do this until they die. Sims will pee on the floor, and then fall asleep in it if they are exhausted. Playing the Sims is a bit like having to babysit the most idiotic people alive without even being paid for it.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: May 4, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*