Arts & Review

New Games for Humans and AI

By: Raymond Chang and Elizabeth Jamison

 

This past fall season for video games was plentiful—from fighting to interaction to visual novels —the options are endless.  Assassin’s Creed Origins, one of this season’s most anticipated games, comes out October 27th.  The game, set in ancient Egypt during the Ptolemaic period, is played from the perspective of an assassin named Bayek.  It appears from the trailers as though Bayek will fight the Order of the Ancients, an organization that controls Egypt from the shadows, in a battle to help Cleopatra regain power.  Many historical figures will appear such as Cleopatra VII and Julius Caesar.  Although the game has not come out yet,  there are  demos and new features, such as the new eagle mode, accessible online.  Eagle mode normally allows the player to scout out an area by highlighting enemies and objects, but now you can do the same, except with a literal eagle.

Another game coming out is Life is Strange: Before the Storm, which is the prequel to Life is Strange, an episodic game series that allows the player to choose their own story progression.  One episode has come out thus far of the three planned episodes.  The game begins with the rebellious teen Chloe, a main character, at an Old Mill to see a band.  The conflict starts when Chloe bumps into a few rude people that continue to bother her, evading them by using her classmate Rachel.  The next day, Rachel and Chloe meet up again at school and decide to ditch.  These stories will continue when the next episode of  Life is Strange:Before the Storm comes out.After Google’s DeepMind announced its next project on November 4th, 2016, the world has had its eyes set on StarCraft II, a real-time strategy eSports game, to host the next big artificial intelligence breakthrough.  However, OpenAI had a different idea.  An artificial-intelligence research company created by Elon Musk, OpenAI developed a bot that made its debut this August in an exhibition match at The International, a tournament with a prize pool of over US$24 million.

Dota 2 is an eSports game with an emphasis on decision-making.  According to Musk, it is “vastly more complex than traditional board games like chess & Go.”  The game is usually played in a five on five setting, but players often have one on one battles.  The key to winning is understanding when to engage and when to pull back.  While the AI did not yet conquer the full game, it has mastered this 1v1 aspect, exhibiting advanced decision-making that brings AI even closer to humans.

The week prior to the release of The International, OpenAI play-tested against other top professional players and easily beat all of them.  “SumaiL,” the best 1v1 player, lost 0-6, and Artour “Arteezy” Babaev, the best overall player, was crushed with a record of 0-10, making an AI the best 1v1 player.

The International announced a surprise exhibition match between Danylo “Dendi” Ishutin and OpenAI.  In front of the entire audience, Dendi played a best of three match against the bot.  He lost the first match and resigned the second one midway through.  OpenAI will revolutionize the way Dota 2 is played, as the players and game developers continue to study the bot’s new strategies and apply them in human competitions.

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