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How Titanfall's AI-controlled enemies could help new players

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Titanfall, Respawn Entertainment's upcoming first-person shooter, includes enemies controlled by artificial intelligence that exist in part to help new players, community manager Abbie Heppe revealed today on Xbox Wire.

Titanfall's multiplayer arenas are limited to 12 human players, but the game also populates its battlefields with AI-controlled combatants. Those allies and enemies can raise the number of fighting characters to nearly 50. In response to a question about why the game includes those AI characters, Heppe wrote that it accomplishes multiple objectives.

"For the design team, it accomplished a lot of goals," she wrote. "It gave players who are newer something to shoot at and gave them a way to help their team. They'll also help lead you into battle if you're a new player. If you are more skilled, you can use them to help you trick the enemy. Like, if I'm playing a game of Hardpoint, I'll follow some AI in and the enemy will shoot the first ones up the stairs and I'll then take them out. So there are those types of advanced tactics. Then there are the Spectres, which are a more difficult class of AI. If you're already injured, they can take you out."

Populating the game with fighting AI also gives Titanfall's gives players more to do.

"The kind of overarching and less specific reason is that it really helps make the battlefield feel alive," she wrote. "You know, you want things to run over in your Titan and punch and melee. They help to create a larger scale battle, especially because they're not Pilots and they don't move like Pilots do. You'll see them get into melee fights on the battlefield and you'll hear them say, 'There's a Pilot coming through,' or 'They're not so great!' They add to the whole character of the universe and make it feel like a more populated universe. Since we're not doing the traditional single-player campaign, it makes us feel like we have a world."

Titanfall is set for a March 11 release on Xbox One and Windows PC. It'll hit Xbox 360 March 25. For more on the non-traditional campaign Heppe referenced, check out our coverage of why Respawn designed it to be played twice. To see Titanfall's beta in action, be sure to check out Polygon's recent Overview episode.