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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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“The Creator”: A Glimpse Into A Future Defined By Artificial Intelligence (AI) Warfare

By Cindy Porter

In “The Creator” visionary director Gareth Edwards thrusts us into the heart of a dystopian future, where the battle lines are drawn between artificial intelligence and the free Western world.

Set against the backdrop of a post-rebellion Los Angeles, the film grapples with pressing questions about the role of AI in our society.

A Glimpse into a Future Defined by Artificial Intelligence (AI) Warfare

A Glimpse into a Future Defined by Artificial Intelligence (AI) Warfare

While the narrative treads familiar ground, it is timely, given the rising prominence of artificial intelligence in our daily lives.

A Fusion of Genres

Edwards embarks on an ambitious endeavor, blending elements of science fiction classics with contemporary themes.

The result is a cinematic stew reminiscent of James Cameron’s “Aliens” tinged with shades of “Blade Runner” a dash of “Children of Men,” and a sprinkle of “Akira” This concoction, while intriguing, occasionally veers toward familiarity rather than forging its own distinct identity.

Edwards’ Cinematic Journey

The British filmmaker, known for his foray into doomsday scenarios with the BBC docudrama “End Day” in 2005, has traversed a path from indie gem “Monsters” (2010) to the expansive Star Wars universe with “Rogue One” (2016).

“The Creator” marks another bold step in his repertoire. The film introduces compelling concepts like the posthumous donation of personality traits, punctuated by impactful visuals, and raises pertinent ethical dilemmas. It stands as a commendable endeavor, even if it occasionally falters in execution.

Navigating Complexity

In his pursuit of depth, Edwards at times stumbles into the realm of convolution, leaving the audience grappling with intricacies rather than immersing in the narrative.

While adept at crafting visual spectacles and orchestrating soundscapes, the film occasionally falters in the art of storytelling.

In an era where classic storytelling is seemingly on the wane, some may argue that this approach is emblematic of the times.

AI: Savior or Peril?

“The Creator” leaves us with a question that resonates long after the credits roll: Will artificial intelligence be humanity’s salvation or its undoing? The film’s take on machine ethics leans toward simplicity, attributing AI emotions to programmed responses.

This portrayal encapsulates the film’s stance on the subject – a theme as enigmatic as the AI it grapples with.

“The Creator”

Director: Gareth Edwards.
Starring: John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Madeleine Yuna Boyles, Ken Watanabe.
Genre: Science fiction.
Release Year: 2023.
Duration: 133 minutes.
Premiere Date: September 29.


Top 5 Movies by Gareth Edwards:

1. “Monsters” (2010)

– A breakout hit, “Monsters” showcases Edwards’ talent for blending intimate human drama with towering sci-fi spectacles. Set in a world recovering from an alien invasion, it’s a poignant tale of love amidst chaos.

2. “Rogue One” (2016)

– Edwards helms this epic Star Wars installment, seamlessly integrating new characters with the beloved original trilogy. It’s a testament to his ability to navigate complex narratives on a grand scale.

3. “End Day” (2005)

– This BBC docudrama marked Edwards’ entry into the world of speculative storytelling. Presenting five doomsday scenarios, it set the stage for his later exploration of dystopian futures.

4. “The Creator” (2023)

– Edwards’ latest venture, “The Creator,” immerses audiences in a future fraught with AI warfare. While not without its challenges, it boldly tackles pertinent questions about the role of artificial intelligence in our lives.

5. Potential Future Project

– As Edwards continues to push the boundaries of speculative cinema, audiences eagerly anticipate his next cinematic endeavor, poised to be another thought-provoking addition to his illustrious filmography.

“The Creator” stands as a testament to Gareth Edwards’ unyielding vision and his penchant for exploring the frontiers of speculative cinema.

While it doesn’t shy away from the complexities of AI, it occasionally falters in navigating its intricate narrative.

As we peer into this cinematic crystal ball, we’re left with a stark question: Will artificial intelligence be our beacon of hope, or will it cast a shadow over humanity’s future? Only time will unveil the answer.

We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!

— By Cindy Porter

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Energize Your Property Value: The Surge In Demand For Home EV Charging Points

By Raza H. Qadri (ALI)

In a rapidly evolving real estate landscape, home electric vehicle (EV) charging points have emerged as a coveted feature. Here, we will explore the surge in demand for these charging stations and their potential to transform property value desirability.

Surge in Demand:

Estate agents are witnessing an unprecedented uptick in requests for properties equipped with EV charging points. Rightmove reports a staggering 592% increase in listings mentioning EV chargers since 2019. This summer, Jackson-Stops even incorporated EV charging points into their top-ten must-have property features for the first time.

Adding Value To Property:

Integrating electric vehicle (EV) charging points into residential properties has become a key factor in boosting their market value. According to insights from the National Association of Property Buyers, homes equipped with EV charging facilities can see an uptick in value ranging from £3,000 to £5,000. This trend aligns with the increasing demand for sustainable features in real estate. Rightmove’s Greener Homes report highlights a remarkable 40% surge in listings mentioning EV chargers in comparison to the previous year. Such statistics underscore the significance of these installations as a sought-after feature among buyers.

Beyond the potential increase in property value, homeowners can reap substantial benefits from dedicated EV charging points. These specialized units offer significantly faster charging speeds compared to standard three-pin plugs. With an output of 32 amps/7kw, a dedicated charger can provide up to 28 miles per hour of charging, a substantial improvement over the 9 miles offered by a standard plug.

Moreover, safety considerations play a pivotal role. Standard domestic sockets may not be designed for prolonged high-output usage, potentially leading to overheating and related wiring issues.

Therefore, the integration of a dedicated EV charging point not only adds tangible value to a property but also ensures a safer and more efficient charging experience for homeowners and their electric vehicles.

Benefits Beyond Convenience:

Dedicated charge points offer benefits beyond convenience. According to James McKemey from Pod Point, these units deliver significantly faster charging speeds compared to standard three-pin plugs. Safety considerations also come into play, as standard domestic sockets may not be built for prolonged high-output usage.


Charging an EV at home proves more cost-effective than relying on public charging stations. Smart charging capabilities enable homeowners to take advantage of lower rates, typically offered during off-peak hours, such as at night.

Charger prices vary, ranging from approximately £300 to over £1,000, with installation costs potentially adding another £400 to £600.

Solar Integration:

Solar integration presents a game-changing opportunity for homeowners seeking both environmental sustainability and financial benefits. The global solar energy capacity reached an astounding 793 gigawatts (GW), illuminating the rapid adoption of this renewable energy source.

For homeowners, integrating solar panels with an electric vehicle (EV) charging point can lead to substantial savings. On average, a standard solar panel system costs around £6,000 to £7,000 per kWp (kilowatt peak), with the typical installation size being 4kWp. This equates to an initial investment of approximately £24,000 to £28,000.

However, the return on investment is impressive. Solar panels can generate roughly 3,200 kWh (kilowatt-hours) per year for a 4kWp system in the UK. With the average cost of electricity sitting at 16.1p per kWh, homeowners can save approximately £515 annually on energy bills.

Moreover, the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme allows homeowners to earn money by exporting excess electricity back to the grid. As of September 2021, the SEG offers rates ranging from 1.79p to 5.24p per kWh. Over the course of 20 years, a solar panel system can generate savings of over £10,000, demonstrating the substantial financial benefits of solar integration. This trend is expected to surge further as advancements in solar technology continue to drive down installation costs and boost energy production.

Regulations and Grants:

Regulations surrounding EV charging point installations vary, particularly for listed buildings, which require planning permission for wall-mounted units. However, for flat owners, renters, and landlords with off-street parking, there’s an opportunity to benefit from government grants.

These grants provide a substantial subsidy, offering £350 or covering 75% of the total installation cost, whichever is lower. This incentive has spurred a surge in installations, with a notable uptick in applications over the past year.

In fact, according to recent data, the number of approved grant applications for EV charging points has risen by an impressive 68% compared to the previous year. This demonstrates a growing recognition of the value and importance of these installations in both residential and rental properties.

Renting Out Your Charging Point:

Renting out your EV charging point also presents a compelling opportunity for homeowners to capitalize on the growing demand for electric vehicle infrastructure.

According to recent market trends, the number of registered electric vehicles worldwide surpassed 14 million in 2023, marking a significant milestone. With projections indicating an annual growth rate of 29% – 34% for the global electric vehicle market, the need for accessible charging solutions is set to skyrocket. In the UK alone, the number of electric vehicles on the road has tripled over the last three years, reaching over 857,000 at the end of 2023.

This surge in EV ownership underscores the potential market for homeowners looking to rent out their charging points. Platforms like JustPark and Co Charger facilitate this process by connecting drivers in need of charging with available charging stations.

By participating in this shared economy, homeowners not only contribute to the expansion of EV infrastructure but also stand to generate a supplementary income stream. This symbiotic relationship between EV owners and charging point hosts aligns with the broader shift towards sustainable transportation solutions.


Finally, we can conclude that the surge in demand for properties with EV charging points signals a shifting paradigm in real estate. With added convenience, cost-efficiency, and potential for monetization, these installations are poised to become a cornerstone of future property value and desirability.

We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!

— By Raza H. Qadri | Science, Technology & Business Contributor “THE VOICE OF EU

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Business Transformation Expert Talks About Mass Layoffs

By Clint Bailey – ‘The Voice of EU’

By Clint Bailey – ‘The Voice of EU’

Raza H. Qadri (Ali), a Business Transformation expert and the Founder of Vibertron Technologies, a BizTech company, possesses extensive experience in the tech industry. Throughout his career, he has provided consulting services to both large corporations and SMEs undergoing significant restructuring initiatives.

In a recent interview with Voice of EU, Qadri highlighted the detrimental impact of mass layoffs on mid-career tech professionals and the businesses that implement such measures. He expressed his concern regarding the prevailing trend of widespread workforce reductions, suggesting that it represents a logical misstep.

“Considering the reputation of the tech industry for innovation, I had anticipated greater progress in recent developments. However, it appears that tech companies are regressing, particularly in their dismantling of established departments and structures that were intended to drive future growth.”

[Mass redundancies are] an outdated and traditional practice that most companies turn to as a first resort to create liquidity

Qadri says that most of the employees impacted by layoffs have “approximately 10-11 years of experience” and so are “not really junior staff that are easily replaced,” noting there would be “a loss of skills and knowledge in these companies.”

Additionally, he expresses concern regarding the potential loss of diversity at the technical and software engineering layer. Executives are increasingly focused on building and developing technology utilizing AI systems, which are known to possess biases due to limited training data.

Throughout his extensive experience working across various industries and regions, Qadri has observed that more than 70% of digital transformation initiatives either fall short or fail to achieve their intended outcomes. He emphasizes that one critical component, often overlooked, that can make or break digital transformation is the “people element.”

Emulating Technology & The Copycat Phenomenon

“In my view, the companies seem to be copying each other’s operations strategies” says Qadri. According to Qadri, these companies view the situation as an opportunity to streamline their workforce by letting go of the additional employees they had hired during the pandemic-induced surge. Many believed that the future would be dominated by virtual meetings and peripheral manufacturers would continue to experience significant profits.

However, in contrast to the significant revenue growth experienced by many companies during the global lockdowns, a notable trend has emerged. Numerous organizations have initiated large-scale job cuts.

According to data compiled by, 693 technology businesses have already laid off 197,945 employees this year, with the year not even reaching its midpoint. This figure surpasses the 164,591 individuals laid off by 1,056 companies throughout the entirety of 2022.

Qadri quoted Henry Ford’s aphorism – “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it” – saying that mass redundancies were “an outdated and traditional practice that most companies turn to as a first resort to create liquidity.”

Shareholders, Profitability & Financial Performance Driving the Bottom Line

Qadri said: “The impact of layoffs on profitability may not be immediately evident, as increased expenses and significant severance packages (usually spanning 3-6 months) need to be accounted for in the short term. However, the dismantling of established departments and structures by tech companies is perceived as a regressive step. This approach reflects short-term thinking, lacking a focus on sustainable strategies for the digital future.”

Raza Qadri

Business Transformation Exec. Raza Qadri Talks About Mass Layoffs.

Qadri, who recently introduced a new remote work tech transformation algorithm MCiHT (Multi-Channel Integrated Hybrid Technologies) for Vibertron Consulting Solutions, notes that while companies are laying off people, they are investing billions in AI, IoT, and automation, citing the billions Microsoft has put into OpenAI so far.

In recent months, Microsoft announced its intention to reduce its workforce by 10,000 employees, which constitutes approximately 4% of the company’s total staff. This decision was prompted by Satya Nadella’s remarks highlighting the necessity for productivity enhancements. Microsoft is not the only company taking such measures; other prominent organizations like Salesforce, Amazon, Google, Meta, and several others are also trimming their workforce to align with the excess hiring made during the growth spurred by the COVID-19 lockdowns.

On the company’s most recent earnings call last month, Nadella noted: “During the pandemic, it was all about new workloads and scaling workloads. But pre-pandemic, there was a balance between optimizations and new workloads. So what we’re seeing now is the new workloads start in addition to highly intense optimization drive that we have.”

CFO Amy Hood then quickly responded to this, stating the company had “been through almost a year where that pivot that Satya talked about, from [here] we’re starting tons of new workloads, and we’ll call that the pandemic time, to this transition post, and we’re coming to really the anniversary of that starting. And so to talk to your point, we’re continuing to set optimization. But at some point, workloads just can’t be optimized much further.”

Not singling Microsoft out specifically, but speaking to the point of moves made by tech companies in a ‘maturity phase’. Qadri said, “Layoffs significantly impact this key performance indicator (KPI), despite the fact that these companies may possess substantial reserves. Such measures serve as a swift means to align with investor expectations and share prices, enabling them to quickly optimize their size and structure.”

Is It A Sustainable Approach?

During our conversation, we inquired with Qadri about the notable and unprecedented cuts that occurred at Twitter following Elon Musk’s involvement with the company.

He said: “I find it difficult to believe that only 30 percent of the organization was responsible for managing the entire structure. Even if that were the case, it would require considerable time to evaluate the existing structure, realign roles and responsibilities, and implement transformative measures to enhance efficiency.

The sudden loss of a significant portion of the workforce within a few weeks raises concerns, and I anticipate witnessing a restructuring of the top leadership with the arrival of the new CEO. Considering the online statements made by individuals like him, I am apprehensive about the values and direction that tech leaders of this nature promote.”

“Conversely, individuals whose skills are no longer retained by the tech industry now have opportunities to pursue financial independence and may choose not to revert to traditional roles within companies. Some are exploring avenues as independent contractors, leveraging their technical expertise to manage multiple full-time jobs enabled by remote work.”

Ultimately, the tech industry is “not really in a dire situation financially,” he says. While it “might have some loss of revenue [it is] not in the red yet. Layoffs should be last resort in truly bad financial situations, rather than first resort in slightly uncertain conditions.”

According to Qadri, one of the proposed solutions is for companies to resist the urge to follow the crowd and instead prioritize addressing the people element. By gaining support from investors and other stakeholders, companies can shift their focus towards long-term objectives rather than short-term gains. This entails establishing a robust ecosystem of internal and external stakeholders.

Photo credits: Vibertron.

Clint Bailey — Senior Business & Technology News Editor at ‘The Voice of EU’ & Co-Editor of EU-20 magazine.

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