TA Top Five: Annoying AI Characters

By Jonathan Barnes, 2 years ago
Many games feature amazing casts of diverse, AI characters that serve to enrich the world of the game and add detail to a digital landscape. These characters fill the game with life and make a world that you actively want to participate in and maybe even save. Some AI characters are lovers for whom you'd risk your character's life. Others are valiant and heroic fighters who stick their lives out there to protect yours. Others still inject humor into dark places, keeping the world light and stopping the action from getting too bogged down.

These are not those characters.

This week's TA Top Five list comes to us as a suggestion from MNRussell who wanted to see a TA Top Five on the most annoying AI characters in games and we are more than happy to oblige.

To qualify as an "AI Character", the character can be a playable co-op character (who is controlled by AI when not controlled by a second player) as well as non-playable characters. These characters can be annoying for any reason ranging from poorly designed AI to terrible writing. It's carte blanche here, folks.

(Dis)Honorable Mentions

Spock - Star Trek

I'll grant you that this is more of a personal vendetta, but Spock shares a lot in common with someone who has the same issues (but more egregious) who appears later in the list. He gets stuck in levels (stopping any and all progress), can't hit the broad side of a barn, and is generally annoying with his "tips" that are not tips at all.

Top Five

5 - Steven Heck - Alpha Protocol

Steven Heck

Talk about wasted talents. Not only is Alpha Protocol a buggy mess of a game, but one of the finest voice actors in gaming (Nolan North) lends his talents to the worst, most annoying character in the game. As "secret agent" Steven Heck, North succeeds in crafting one of the most annoying characters ever encountered in one of the most annoyingly-buggy games in the generation. Seriously, screw that guy.

4 - Roy Earle - L.A. Noire

Roy Earle

Roy Earle is the perfect "dirty cop"; he's slimy, two-timing, back-stabbing, and just a general sleaze. Whether it's letting a suspect off the hook because he's an informant or setting Cole Phelps up to "wag the dog", he seems to go out of his way to make Phelps' life hell. Seriously, screw that guy.

3 - Roman Bellic - Grand Theft Auto IV


Not only does this guy NEVER LEAVE YOU ALONE, he also brought poor Niko over here on the strength of a lie. Yeah, that "life of luxury" business with the two women, four hot tubs, and fifteen sports cars... total BS. On top of it all, you have to protect this guy from loan sharks and bail him out from all kinds of "fun trouble". Seriously, screw this guy.

2 - Sheva - Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360)


Yes, let's give Chris Redfield an AI partner who can't hit the broad side of the barn with a weapon, wastes ammo, constantly needs rescuing, and gets stuck in corners. She's like Spock from Star Trek in all of her bugs, but worse... way worse. Seriously, screw that gal.

1- Survivors in Dead Rising (Xbox 360)


Remind me again WHY I'm supposed to save these people? While no one likes escort missions, the survivors in the Willamette Parkview Mall of Dead Rising are, by a wide margin, the most annoying AI characters. Not only are they somewhat vital to your progress in the story (and definitely vital to the achievements), but they are also slow, stupid, and have death wishes that would make Charles Bronson blush. If you're anything like me (and who's to say you're not), you had at least a few runs where you ignored them as much as humanly possible OR actively tried gunning down every single one of them. Seriously, screw every single one of those survivors.

Those are some of our choices for most annoying AI characters. The comments are now open for you to air your grievances with some of yours!

The TA Team will be bringing you The TA Top Five every Sunday until we run out of coolness to debate and discuss. If you have an idea for a Top Five you'd like us to do, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Jonathan Barnes
Written by Jonathan Barnes
Jonathan has been a news/views contributor since 2010. When he's not writing reviews, features, and opinion pieces, he spends his days working as an informal science educator and his nights as an international man of mystery.