Games like AssCreed or GTA need to be given a bit of leeway seeing as they have pretty complex overarching AI. Assassins Creed 1-2+1+1 have the best crowd mechanics going, and are the only recent games (possibly apart from The Witcher 1&2) which make me think I'm in a city. If you want a comparison then think of Dawnstar in Skyrim - capital of the region and home to a staggering 50 people, many of whom never leave certain buildings.
Regardless, AI is the main element of gaming which really has fallen by the wayside in recent years. Anyone remember back around the turn of the century when it was always brought up in previews for FPS games? After UT'99 and Half-Life were praised for how well they did it, previews for both sequels (UT2003 & HL2) contained interviews with AI programmers and much talk about how it was going to work. It was a big thing, something developers took pride in. Then CoD4 happened* and suddenly AI was no longer a selling point. Far better to just program terrorists 1-3 to run to a wall and fire at the player occasionally, while terrorist 4 has an RPG which he'll pop in- and out- of cover to fire at regular intervals; respawning as necessary.
Strategy games have faired a bit better, but even there exists a large push towards MP gaming where AI isn't really necessary. From what I gather you really need modders to make decent AI, like in SupCom. There's plenty of decent AI out there though so I don't mind this too much. Company of Heroes and Sins of a Solar Empire work just fine for me, and Total War does a decent job considering all it has to do (Although of course I'd like it to be better and again there are mods for this).
RPGs are the only real place I don't notice the dip in AI as it was never great to begin with. At least I don't expect anyone to pop up and praise the AI in Ultima. The BG games have various mods which make the computer use abilities in a far more sensible way, but the original game never felt bad because of the standard AI. Perhaps it's just that there should be more on offer in RPGs than just the combat.
/endrant (this is something that's been buggin me for a while)
* CoD1/2, Halo, Gears of War can all be blamed a bit too, but I honestly think these games aimed for basic AI at worst and didn't just try to script almost everything.
I'd like to point out, apart from your friendlies not being able to drive, Halo has usually had pretty decent AI.
Hitman is an interesting game to play in terms of AI though - it should be cleverer, but I'm not sure that even if they could make it super intelligent that they should. Same with other games I guess, the hardest AI to make will be one that makes you feel like you've outsmarted it like a human rather than a computer, but still be limited unlike a human so you can win.
Pretty nearly all MMOs (with two or three notable exceptions) would classify as "the worst AI ever".
My games-related Twitter: VexingVision
Currently playing: Gothic 2; Blood Bowl: Chaos Edition; Waking Mars; Anno Online
Red Orchestra 2: Most terrible bots I ever witnessed in a mp shooter. The singleplayer traininig missions are really terrible and when there are bots on an online server I will instantly quit.
Lemmings, it is almost like they wanted to die...
Long live House Lannister.
Those bloody LEGO games and the partner AI's seeming inability to handle ladders or catwalks. Up here just use the ladder. No, don't jump to your doom use the ladder, that one right next to you. Oh bloody hell, here I'll do it. And then it just repeats only with the other character.
Just Cause 2? The soldiers take around 1-2 seconds to respond, when I run up to them. Which gives me enough time to blow their guts out with a sawn-off.
It's not bad A.I. as such, but I used to find this hilarious when playing F.E.A.R:
I'd run into one room, and kill all the guys in there. They'd scream things into radios like "BACKUP! I Need BACKUP!". There was gunfire. Sometimes, there were explosions from hand grenades. After killing everyone you'd open a door and go to the next part of the level, where there'd be a guard pacing up and down quietly.
Clearly, the guards in FEAR are all on different radio frequencies and are deaf to the sound of gunfire
I would also like to add Skyrim, as I just encountered a dragon which was very annoyed at some slaughter fish, and was totally cool with me discharging a volley of arrows onto its' back.
The RO2 AI is much, much, better than the RO1 AI. Unfortunately it still isn't great.
Arma AI gets a bad rap, but if you spend time in the editor just throwing together quick missions to play you can really get a chance to appreciate how complex it really is (this is fully updated Arma 2 btw). They take cover, provide supressive fire, advance properly, and in general do really amazingly complex things.
Unfortunately most players don't get to really see it because they are playing standard scenarios, the campaign, or online where the AI doesn't really get to shine. Either because there are too few of them so you become too reliant on them, and therefore even small mistakes become amplified. For example, if you are relying on one AI to hold a flank his screw up has a much bigger effect than if you had a AI squad holding a flank and one of them screwed up, or it is humans vs the AI. In which case you don't really get to see the AI maneuver all that much. Instead you get to see the moments where they get killed or kill you which is usually a relatively static affair.
I would even argue that the Arma AI is some of the best in any game. Once you consider the situations that are put in. Wide open spaces where they have to handle attacks from any direction, from any range, and from a number of different weapons system it becomes truly impressive.
Sniper Elite V2.
It's not that they're not competent, because they are - but it's because an unsilenced sniper round makes them all stare at you and start firing hyper accurate mags of Mp40 at you.
... I take the lives of a few to protect the lives of many. I commit acts of war to preserve the greater peace. I take no joy in killing, but make no mistake; I'll do what needs to be done. Because it's my job. It's my duty. My name is Sam Fisher, and I am a Splinter Cell.