Square Enix added an AI-powered text parser to an old-school adventure game. Reactions are mixed

Square Enix has been far quicker to embrace technological trends than many of its contemporaries, having made pledges to utilize NFTs, the blockchain and even more Web 3 buzzwords in its future endeavors. The first hint of the massive games company's future has been released, and it is, predictably, failing to impress. Sitting somewhere between a tech demo and a visual novel is The Portopia Serial Murder Case, a remake of the beloved 1983 adventure game and notably the first time it has ever officially been available in English.

Square Enix has also worked an AI language interpretation system similar to what you'd see in ChatGPT into the game to make it more responsive and immersive, and more crucially allow players to step outside the narrow bounds of text adventure commands – remember having to try 50 variations of 'pick up shovel' in Zork? That all sounds alright on the surface – but in practice, the game fails right from the starting line, with the AI radically misinterpreting some questions and straight-up refusing to answer others. It currently sits at 'mostly negative' reviews on Steam, and the page is filled with players sharing their experiences like this one:

Evidently, the AI-powered partner is a hindrance rather than a help. The Portopia Serial Murder Case is free to play if you feel like trying it yourself, but I'd rather wait until the future actually gets here before trying to partake in it.