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God of War’s PC port is an improvement on perfection • The Register

The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Long may this trajectory of PlayStation titles eventually coming to PC continue – because we now have God of War.

How do you make a flawless PlayStation exclusive even better? The answer seems to be to port it to PC, which is what happened with God of War on 14 January. Back in 2018, The Register was lucky enough to receive a copy ahead of its original release. We played it and loved it, though without a dedicated spot on the site for gaming it would have felt strange to suddenly write about the experience.

Things have changed. The RPG has entered its third year as God of War becomes the latest in a number of erstwhile “exclusives” that have made the leap to the desktop. In that vein, this column has previously covered the PC releases of Death Stranding (not for everyone) and Days Gone (not perfect), and we’ve learnt that the measure of a port is “how badly have they fucked this up?”

Because although the aforementioned were shining examples of stability and performance, the process doesn’t always go smoothly. Horizon: Zero Dawn, the other PlayStation stablemate to be brought over, was a dumpster fire on launch. We never got round to it for precisely this reason. There are no such concerns with Santa Monica Studio’s God of War.

Chaurli sits on top of the Witch of the Woods house, with a tree growing out of his back

‘Chaurli’ sits on top of the Witch of the Woods’ house, with a tree growing out of his back

Sadly, it’s not often that you can describe a video game as “magical” – but God of War fits the bill. Santa Monica has been developing the series since 2005 on the PlayStation 2, where it started as a hack-and-slash action game with a fixed camera view, but the PlayStation 4 entry, which shares the same name with the debut, is a soft reboot of sorts, a fresh beginning and new direction. You can safely start here without having touched the previous titles.

Venturing into Helheim, realm of the dishonourable dead

Venturing into Helheim, realm of the dishonourable dead

The franchise follows Kratos, a Spartan warrior who becomes a Greek tragedy after being tricked into murdering his family by the war god Ares. He goes on a rampage driven by rage and vengeance, slaughtering much of the Greek pantheon over the course of three games. It transpires that he is a demigod and a son of Zeus (the chief deity’s habit of raping mortals is well documented).

Ruined statues of the Aesir stick out of Midgard's central lake

Ruined statues of the Aesir stick out of Midgard’s central lake

Now hiding out in Midgard – not the literal “Earth” as such but a representation of the realms of Norse mythology where gods, dwarfs, elves, dragons, and other monsters dwell – Kratos (now voiced by Stargate SG-1’s Christopher Judge) appears to have cooled down a bit, grown a sick beard, and fathered a son, Atreus, whose mother has died under unexplained circumstances at the beginning of the game. Her dying wish was to have her ashes scattered from the top of the highest peak in the realms. Therein lies your quest. It sounds simple, but the resident gods have become suspicious of Kratos’s presence, and the journey turns out to be anything but.

The aftermath of a particularly difficult and bloody battle

The aftermath of a particularly difficult and bloody battle

This God of War switched things up by shifting to a third-person, over-the-shoulder camera (à la The Last of Us) where the player can freely look and go anywhere. As such, it could be loosely defined as an open-world game. There is a large hub-like map that can be freely explored, where you’ll find a substantial but not overwhelming number of side objectives become available as the story progresses, ranging from dungeons to collectibles to optional bosses.

The interface through which Kratos can travel to other realms

The interface through which Kratos can travel to other realms

One of the more material changes, however, is Kratos’s weaponry. Ashamed of his past, his “Blades of Chaos” have been shelved in favour of the “Leviathan Axe”, an enchanted heirloom he inherited from his deceased wife, though the blades are forced to make a reappearance down the line. In a nod to Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir, the axe can be aimed and thrown at enemies, zipping back to the wielder’s hands with a button press, as well as being used as an outrageously powerful melee weapon. The visceral mechanics surrounding the axe are some of the best in the gaming and never get old.

Trolls are intimidating foes

Trolls are intimidating foes

The approach is more grounded than the older titles. There’s no crazy jumping around, though Kratos can vault obstacles, lift up huge rocks to pass beneath, and scale cliff faces. During combat, however, he will often be surrounded by many varieties of enemies with different attacks and abilities at a time, meaning you sort of have to multi-task – being aware of what is behind you, who is about to hurl a magic projectile at you, blocking, parrying, dodging, and rolling before counter-attacking to stay alive. So the hack-and-slash element has been preserved but it can also feel like a brawler (Bayonetta, Devil May Cry) – just heavier, more brutal, slower-paced.

On that note, God of War is gleefully violent. One of the earliest boss fights – and another up there with the very best of gaming – is between Kratos and a man who cannot feel pain. Though his identity is shrouded for the sake of the narrative, students of Norse mythology should be able to work it out. This guy bangs on the door of Kratos’s house and starts casting aspersions, luring him into an almighty brawl where the attacker is smashed through a house and a hillside, crushed by a huge crag of rock, and has his neck broken. He walks it off. Alongside health, enemies and bosses also have stun bars, which are most efficiently built up when Kratos sheathes his axe and takes them on with his bare fists. When filled, the player can trigger a variety of brutal execution animations – like so (I think my expression says it all).

Enemies will often attack in groups

Enemies will often attack in groups

But on top of the ultraviolence, progress in God of War has depth and intricacy. You don’t “level up” simply with the accruing of experience points – those are used to unlock button combos and attack abilities. Instead there is a crafting system, with the help of the dwarves Brok and Sindri, to create or upgrade armour, weaponry, trinkets and talismans, paid for by hacksilver and rare items dropped by vanquished monsters. The better the item you equip, the higher your level will be – so it’s important to be on the lookout for drops that can help craft rarer equipment (denoted by the classic MMO colour code of green < blue < purple < orange) as the story unfolds and enemies get tougher.

Jörmungandr is one of the best encounters in any video game

Jörmungandr is one of the best encounters in gaming

Onto the graphics then. Goodness me. It was stunning what the devs could achieve with PlayStation 4 hardware (now last-gen and superseded by the fifth iteration of the console), and this is where the port shines. Midgard is a wonderfully dramatic and colourful place, ranging from lush enchanted woodland and valleys to snow-capped mountain peaks, and now you don’t have to play with the framerate locked to 30fps!

Certain set pieces really stand out as capturing God of War’s magic – your first encounter with Jörmungandr, the World Serpent, a truly spectacular entity of Titanic scale, or the colossal tortoise anticlimactically named “Chaurli” who lives above the wood witch’s home. It’s like reliving The NeverEnding Story in video game form. Bosses too can be towering, with trolls and ogres regularly ambushing Kratos and Atreus. The latter can be ridden when weakened and used against other foes.

God of War is full of beautiful environments

God of War is full of beautiful environments

Then there’s the central hub machinery, sunken in a lake, a mysterious set of buildings and towers constructed by the gods for the purposes of realm travel (there are nine worlds in Norse mythology). Once Kratos has the Bifröst (the rainbow bridge of the old tales but in the game a key-like item), he can interface with a representation of the cosmic tree Yggdrasil. The process of travelling to another world is pure eye candy, with the tree’s roots writhing into a bridge. Just… take it from me. Everything in the game is pure eye candy.

Ex-dwarf Fafnir, now a dragon

Ex-dwarf Fafnir, now a dragon

There are a few graphical settings with finer granularity that can be tweaked if necessary. “Original” is the PlayStation appearance, already fantastic and with the unlocked framerate to boot. If your rig can’t handle that there’s “Low”, otherwise shifting to “High” or, even better, “Ultra” will push the port to its full potential. We played on “Ultra” and performance was flawless. We opted to use a gamepad, just because it was more familiar since we played the original, but the keyboard-and-mouse controls feel perfectly viable too.

A portion of the game takes place on and around the body of a slain giant

A portion of the game takes place on and around the body of a slain giant

So as to “how badly have they fucked this up?” the answer is: not at all. It was a perfect action-adventure game on PlayStation 4 that’s only been made better by the port. I couldn’t find a single bug or oddity anywhere, and honestly the PC gaming community should jump at the chance to play. It’ll fascinate fans of Norse mythology with its many references to Eddic lore and delight gamers with its meaty mechanics and Kratos’s gradual development from stern and distant father to something almost resembling tenderness. God of War is set to remain in Scandinavia for the next instalment, Ragnarök, this year. We can only hope it will one day come to PC as well, otherwise it might be time to grab a PlayStation. ®

Rich played God of War on Twitch as ExcellentSword. Chuck him a follow for more video game impressions as they happen! Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from around 8:30-9pm UK time.

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How Automated Moveable Medians Redefining Traffic Flow And Revolutionizing Road Safety

AI Revolutionizing Road Safety

The Voice Of EU | In today’s fast-paced world, where traffic congestion and road safety concerns continue to plague urban landscapes, the integration of advanced technology is becoming a beacon of hope for a safer, and more efficient transportation system. One such groundbreaking innovation that’s redefining traffic flow and ensuring safety on the roads is the implementation of Automated Moveable Medians (AMMs).

The Genesis of Automated Moveable Medians

The traditional median strip, often a static feature on roadways, primarily serves as a visual barrier between opposing lanes, minimizing head-on collisions and contributing to general road safety. However, these static medians often fall short in adapting to dynamic traffic patterns and fail to respond to changing conditions, leading to potential hazards during peak traffic hours or emergencies.

The concept of Automated Moveable Medians (AMMs) marks a paradigm shift in road safety and traffic management. These medians are equipped with cutting-edge AI, Machine Learning, and Robotics technologies, enabling them to autonomously adjust their positions based on real-time traffic conditions, thereby optimizing traffic flow and enhancing safety.

How Automated Moveable Medians Function

Utilizing a network of sensors, cameras, and AI algorithms, AMMs continuously monitor traffic density, speed, and patterns. When traffic begins to congest in one direction, the AMMs autonomously shift their positions, reallocating lanes to accommodate the higher traffic volume. By dynamically altering the median’s position, these systems effectively create additional lanes or expand existing ones, mitigating congestion and reducing the likelihood of accidents.

Statistical Insights Driving Adoption

According to recent studies conducted by transportation authorities in major urban centers:

– AMMs have shown a remarkable reduction of up to 30% in the number of accidents caused by lane misallocation or static medians’ inability to adapt to dynamic traffic.

– Improved traffic flow has led to a significant decrease in commute times by an average of 15%-25% during peak hours.

– Real-time adjustments by AMMs have demonstrated a 25% decrease in overall congestion levels on highly trafficked roads.

– Reduced congestion and smoother traffic flow have translated into a notable decline of up to 30% in carbon emissions in these areas.

The Future Prospects and Challenges

While the advent of AMMs presents a promising solution to traffic-related issues, there are challenges to address. Ensuring the seamless integration of these systems into existing infrastructures, addressing potential cybersecurity threats, and navigating regulatory frameworks are essential considerations for wider implementation.

Moreover, while AMMs offer a viable solution for major roads and highways, their application in densely populated urban areas and narrower streets requires meticulous planning to avoid hindering pedestrian movement and emergency services’ access.

Collaborative Efforts for Implementation

The successful implementation and scalability of AMMs hinge upon collaborative efforts among transportation authorities, urban planners, AI developers, and governmental bodies. The synergy of expertise from these diverse sectors can facilitate the deployment of AMMs in high-priority areas, improving road safety and traffic management.

The emergence of Automated Moveable Medians heralds a new era in transportation innovation. By leveraging advanced technologies, these dynamic systems are not only enhancing traffic flow but also contributing significantly to road safety, making our streets safer and more efficient for all commuters.

We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!

By John Elf, Contributor “The Voice Of EU

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Global Affairs

Open Source Software (OSS) Supply Chain, Security Risks And Countermeasures

OSS Security Risks And Countermeasures

The software development landscape increasingly hinges on open source components, significantly aiding continuous integration, DevOps practices, and daily updates. Last year, Synopsys discovered that 97% of codebases in 2022 incorporated open source, with specific sectors like computer hardware, cybersecurity, energy, and the Internet of Things (IoT) reaching 100% OSS integration.

While leveraging open source enhances efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and developer productivity, it inadvertently paves a path for threat actors seeking to exploit the software supply chain. Enterprises often lack visibility into their software contents due to complex involvement from multiple sources, raising concerns highlighted in VMware’s report last year. Issues include reliance on communities to patch vulnerabilities and associated security risks.

Raza Qadri, founder of Vibertron Technologies, emphasizes OSS’s pivotal role in critical infrastructure but underscores the shock experienced by developers and executives regarding their applications’ OSS contribution. Notably, Qadri cites that 95% of vulnerabilities surface in “transitive main dependencies,” indirectly added open source packages.

Qadri also acknowledges developers’ long-standing use of open source. However, recent years have witnessed heightened awareness, not just among developers but also among attackers. Malware attacks targeting the software supply chain have surged, as demonstrated in significant breaches like SolarWinds, Kaseya, and the Log4j exploit.

Log4j’s widespread use exemplifies the consolidation of risk linked to extensively employed components. This popular Java-based logging tool’s vulnerabilities showcase the systemic dependency on widely used software components, posing significant threats if exploited by attackers.

Moreover, injection of malware into repositories like GitHub, PyPI, and NPM has emerged as a growing threat. Cybercriminals generate malicious versions of popular code to deceive developers, exploiting vulnerabilities when components are downloaded, often without the developers’ knowledge.

Despite OSS’s security risks, its transparency and visibility compared to commercial software offer certain advantages. Qadri points out the swift response to Log4j vulnerabilities as an example, highlighting OSS’s collaborative nature.

Efforts to fortify software supply chain security are underway, buoyed by multi-vendor frameworks, vulnerability tracking tools, and cybersecurity products. However, additional steps, such as enforcing recalls for defective OSS components and implementing component-level firewalls akin to packet-level firewalls, are necessary to fortify defenses and mitigate malicious attacks.

Qadri underscores the need for a holistic approach involving software bills of materials (SBOMs) coupled with firewall-like capabilities to ensure a comprehensive understanding of software contents and preemptive measures against malicious threats.

As the software supply chain faces ongoing vulnerabilities and attacks, concerted efforts are imperative to bolster security measures, safeguard against threats, and fortify the foundational aspects of open source components.

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By John Elf | Science, Technology & Business contributor Digital

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Choco: Revolutionizing The FoodTech Industry With Innovation & Sustainability | EU20

By Clint Bailey

— In the rapidly evolving world of food technology, European startup Choco has emerged as a pioneering force. With its website,, this Berlin-based company is transforming the way food industry professionals operate by leveraging innovative digital solutions. By linking restaurants, distributors, suppliers, and producers on a single platform, Choco is streamlining the supply chain process while promoting sustainability.

Let’s explore the journey of and its impact on the overall foodtech industry.

  1. Company: Choco Technologies GmbH
  2. Website:
  3. Head Office: Berlin, Germany
  4. Year Established: 2018
  5. Founders: Choco was co-founded by Daniel Khachab, Julian Hammer, and Rogerio da Silva.
  6. Industry: Choco operates in the foodtech industry, specifically focusing on digitizing the supply chain for the food industry.
  7. Funding: Choco has secured significant funding rounds from investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners & Coatue Management.
  8. Market Presence: Choco has a strong presence in several European cities, including Berlin, Paris, London & Barcelona.
  9. Mission: Choco aims to revolutionize the food industry by leveraging technology to simplify supply chain management, promote sustainability, and reduce food waste.

Simplifying Supply Chain Management

One of the core focuses of Choco is to simplify supply chain management for food businesses. Traditionally, the procurement process in the food industry has been cumbersome and inefficient, with numerous intermediaries and manual processes. Choco’s digital platform replaces the traditional paper-based ordering system, allowing restaurants and suppliers to communicate and collaborate seamlessly.

Choco’s platform enables restaurants to place orders directly with suppliers, eliminating the need for phone calls, faxes, or emails. This not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of errors and miscommunications.

By digitizing the ordering process, Choco improves transparency, making it easier for restaurants to compare prices, track deliveries, and manage inventory efficiently.

Streamlining Operations For Suppliers & Producers

Choco’s impact extends beyond restaurants. The platform also provides suppliers and producers with valuable tools to streamline their operations. By digitizing their product catalogs and integrating them into the Choco platform, suppliers can showcase their offerings to a wide network of potential buyers.

Suppliers benefit from increased visibility, enabling them to reach new customers and expand their market presence. Moreover, Choco’s platform helps suppliers manage their inventory, track orders, and plan deliveries effectively. These features enhance operational efficiency, reduce waste, and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable food system.
YouTube Channel

Promoting Sustainability & Reducing Food Waste

Choco recognizes the critical importance of sustainability in the food industry. According to the United Nations, approximately one-third of the world’s food production goes to waste each year. By digitizing the supply chain and enabling more efficient ordering and inventory management, Choco actively works to combat this issue.

Air France – Deals & Destinations

Choco’s platform facilitates data-driven decision-making for restaurants, suppliers, and producers. By analyzing purchasing patterns & demand, Choco helps businesses optimize their inventory levels, reducing overstocking and minimizing food waste. Additionally, Choco supports local sourcing, enabling businesses to connect with nearby suppliers & promote sustainable, community-based practices.

Expanding Reach & Impact

Since its founding in 2018, Choco has experienced rapid growth and expansion. The startup has successfully secured significant funding rounds, allowing it to scale its operations and establish a strong presence across Europe and other global markets. Today, Choco’s platform is used by thousands of restaurants and suppliers, revolutionizing the way they operate.

Choco’s impact extends beyond operational efficiency or sustainability. By connecting restaurants, suppliers & producers on a single platform, Choco fosters collaboration & encourages the exchange of ideas. This collaborative approach strengthens the overall foodtech ecosystem and creates a supportive community of like-minded aiming to drive positive change within the industry.

Future Of FoodTech

Choco’s rise to prominence in the foodtech industry exemplifies the reach of sustainability, innovation, and community. Through its user-friendly platform, Choco simplifies supply chain management, streamlines operations for restaurants & suppliers, and actively promotes sustainable practices. By harnessing the potential of digital, Choco is disrupting the future of the food industry, making it more efficient and transparent.

As Choco continues to expand its impact and reach, its transformative influence on the foodtech sector is set to inspiring, grow other startups, and established players to embrace technology for a better and more sustainable food system.

We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!

— Compiled by Clint Bailey | Team ‘Voice of EU’
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