Black Myth: Wukong Preview – A Classic Tale Retold – Game Informer

Black Myth: Wukong is an action role-playing game that closely follows the events of Wu Cheng’en’s seminal novel Journey to the West. The work, based on Chinese mythology and Buddhist folklore, follows a monk who meets a spirit called Sun Wukong, often called Monkey King, during his search for sacred religious texts. While its central narrative is still unknown, Game Science’s upcoming Soulslike depicts Wukong’s encounters with Yaoguai, various creatures and demons in Chinese myth, set within stunning Eastern landscapes.

My hands-on demo begins at the base of Black Wind Mountain’s summit, in a place called the Forest of Wolves, populated with rich greenery, alpine trees, and all manner of wind-weathered stones and shrines. The path to the top is guarded by scattered groups of foxes and wolf-like humanoids who wield axes, shields, and bows. While these enemies aren’t challenging, they serve as great punching bags to learn combat fundamentals like dodging, charged-up staff techniques, and early spells like Immobilize, which freezes enemies in place for a burst-attack opportunity.

Black Myth: Wukong Release Date Trailer:

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Wukong’s primary weapon is a bō staff, referred to as Ruyi Jingu Bang in the inspirational literature, which he can shrink down to the size of a needle for safe-keeping inside his ear. The Monkey King commands an arsenal of weapon combos, including the ability to charge up Jingu Bang to pool together Focus Points, which allow him to unleash flashy heavy strikes. While you can’t store the Focus Points you acquire by charging his weapon – Wukong automatically attacks as you release the button – you can store up focus points to use later in the fight by landing enough light attacks on an enemy. Learning the timing of these weapon flourishes and how to use them alongside your growing library of mystic spells is critical to success against large opponents like the game’s many bosses.

While there are at least half a dozen optional and required bosses in the Forest of Wolves, I spend my time challenging two of its more difficult adversaries. The first is a flame-spear-wielding wolf named Guangzhi, who rushes me down and overwhelms me with flame-bending sweeps and dashes. After beating him on my fourth attempt, which I manage to do by relying on my immobilization spell’s cooldown, Guangzhi drops his double-tipped spear, called Red Tides, which slots into one of Wukong’s empty spell slots rather than replacing his magical staff. Upon activating the ability, Wukong momentarily transforms into the wolf I just defeated, allowing me to wield the boss’ fiery powers to inflict Scorch Bane, a status effect that sets enemies on fire and deals damage over time. Notably, Wukong’s health pool is separate from the Yaoguai he embodies, making this new ability a great tactic to use when low on health against Black Wind Mountain’s ravenous bosses.

I run past another optional boss – a gargantuan humanoid with a disproportionate golden head – and maneuver a bamboo-laden mountain ridge, finally making it to my destination: the Guanyin Temple, which is home to Lingxuzi, a building-sized canine appointed by a mysterious character known as the Black Wind King. The towering white wolf jumps in the air, scaling the entirety of the arena in a few seconds, and gets a taste of my blood after a swift strike. While Lingxuzi licks his lips, I freeze him in place and begin a flurry of light attacks and focused heavy strikes. Of course, this is a Soulslike, so I end up dying multiple times, slowly memorizing the Yaoguai’s movements and tactics over the course of roughly five attempts. When I finally triumph, I equip a rare wolf mask I loot from Lingxuzi’s corpse, granting me a damage buff against critically wounded enemies.

Black Myth: Wukong seems to present a compelling world of striking character designs, boss fights requiring skill mastery, and gorgeous environments. I eagerly await the game’s release, not simply for its excellent combat and promising character building, but to experience its take on the prominent Chinese folk tale.

A new way to spot life-threatening infections in cancer patients

Chemotherapy and other treatments that take down cancer cells can also destroy patients’ immune cells. Every year, that leads tens of thousands of cancer patients with weakened immune systems to contract infections that can turn deadly if unmanaged.

Doctors must strike a balance between giving enough chemotherapy to eradicate cancer while not giving so much that the patient’s white blood cell count gets dangerously low, a condition known as neutropenia. It can also leave patients socially isolated in between rounds of chemotherapy. Currently, the only way for doctors to monitor their patients’ white blood cells is through blood tests.

Now Leuko is developing an at-home white blood cell monitor to give doctors a more complete view of their patients’ health remotely. Rather than drawing blood, the device uses light to look through the skin at the top of the fingernail, and artificial intelligence to analyze and detect when white blood cells reach dangerously low levels.

The technology was first conceived of by researchers at MIT in 2015. Over the next few years, they developed a prototype and conducted a small study to validate their approach. Today, Leuko’s devices have accurately detected low white blood cell counts in hundreds of cancer patients, all without drawing a single drop of blood.

“We expect this to bring a clear improvement in the way that patients are monitored and cared for in the outpatient setting,” says Leuko co-founder and CTO Ian Butterworth, a former research engineer in MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics. “I also think there’s a more personal side of this for patients. These people can feel vulnerable around other people, and they don’t currently have much they can do. That means that if they want to see their grandkids or see family, they’re constantly wondering, ‘Am I at high risk?’”

The company has been working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over the last four years to design studies confirming their device is accurate and easy to use by untrained patients. Later this year, they expect to begin a pivotal study that will be used to register for FDA approval.

Once the device becomes an established tool for patient monitoring, Leuko’s team believes it could also give doctors a new way to optimize cancer treatment.

“Some of the physicians that we have talked to are very excited because they think future versions of our product could be used to personalize the dose of chemotherapy given to each patient,” says Leuko co-founder and CEO Carlos Castro-Gonzalez, a former postdoc at MIT. “If a patient is not becoming neutropenic, that could be a sign that you could increase the dose. Then every treatment could be based on how each patient is individually reacting.”

Monitoring immune health

Leuko co-founders Ian Butterworth, Carlos Castro-Gonzalez, Aurélien Bourquard, and Alvaro Sanchez-Ferro came to MIT in 2013 as part of the Madrid-MIT M+Vision Consortium, which was a collaboration between MIT and Madrid and is now part of MIT linQ. The program brought biomedical researchers from around the world to MIT to work on translational projects with institutions around Boston and Madrid.

The program, which was originally run out of MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics, challenged members to tackle huge unmet needs in medicine and connected them with MIT faculty members from across the Institute to build solutions. Leuko’s founders also received support from MIT’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including the Venture Mentoring Service, the Sandbox Innovation Fund, the Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Deshpande Center. After its MIT spinout, the company raised seed and series A financing rounds led by Good Growth Capital and HTH VC.

“I didn’t even realize that entrepreneurship was a career option for a PhD [like myself],” Castro-Gonzalez says. “I was thinking that after the fellowship I would apply for faculty positions. That was the career path I had in mind, so I was very excited about the focus at MIT on trying to translate science into products that people can benefit from.”

Leuko’s founders knew people with cancer stood to benefit the most from a noninvasive white blood cell monitor. Unless patients go to the hospital, they can currently monitor only their temperature from home. If they show signs of a fever, they’re advised to go to the emergency room immediately.

“These infections happen quite frequently,” Sanchez-Ferro says. “One in every six cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy will develop an infection where their white blood cells are critically low. Some of those infections unfortunately end in deaths for patients, which is particularly terrible because they’re due to the treatment rather than the disease. [Infections] also mean the chemotherapy gets interrupted, which increases negative clinical outcomes for patients.”

Leuko’s optical device works through imaging the capillaries, or small blood vessels, just above the fingernail, which are more visible and already used by doctors to assess other aspects of vascular health. The company’s portable device analyzes white blood cell activity to detect critically low levels for care teams.

In a study of 44 patients in 2019, Leuko’s team showed the approach was able to detect when white blood cell levels dropped below a critical threshold, with minimal false positives. The team has since developed a product that another, larger study showed unsupervised patients can use at home to get immune information to doctors.

“We work completely noninvasively, so you can perform white blood cell measurements at home and much more frequently than what’s possible today,” Bourquard says. “The key aspect of this is it allows doctors to identify patients whose immune systems become so weak they’re at high risk of infection. If doctors have that information, they can provide preventative treatment in the form of antibiotics and growth factors. Research estimates that would eliminate 50 percent of hospitalizations.”

Expanding applications

Leuko’s founders believe their device will help physicians make more informed care decisions for patients. They also believe the device holds promise for monitoring patient health across other conditions.

“The long-term vision for the company is making this available to other patient populations that can also benefit from increased monitoring of their immune system,” Castro-Gonzalez says. “That includes patients with multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, organ transplants, and patients that are rushed into the emergency room.”

Leuko’s team even sees a future where their device could be used to monitor other biomarkers in the blood.

“We believe this could be a platform technology,” Castro-Gonzalez says. “We get these noninvasive videos of the blood flowing through the capillaries, so part of the vision for the company is measuring other parameters in the blood beyond white blood cells, including hemoglobin, red blood cells, and platelets. That’s all part of our roadmap for the future.”

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25 years of cybersecurity evolution: Insights from an industry veteran – CyberTalk

Eric has been working in technology for over 40 years with a focus on cybersecurity since the 90’s. Now serving primarily as Chief Cybersecurity Evangelist and part of the Executive Leadership Team, Eric has been with Atlantic Data Security starting from its inception, filling various roles across the company. He leverages this broad perspective along with his passion, collective experience, creative thinking, and empathetic understanding of client issues to solve and advocate for effective cybersecurity.

In this highly informative interview, Atlantic Data Security Evangelist Eric Anderson reflects on the past 25 years in cybersecurity, discusses important observations, and provides valuable recommendations for businesses worldwide.

In looking back across the past 25 years, what has “wowed” you the most in the field of cybersecurity? Why?

Eric: It’s often taken for granted now, but I used to be absolutely amazed at the pace of things. Not that it’s not still impressive, but I think we’ve all gotten a bit used to the speed at which technology evolves. It’s even more pronounced in our specific field. Cybersecurity may have a somewhat unique driver of innovation, since it’s largely pushed by illicit actors that are constantly searching for new threat vectors. Defenders are forced to invest in developing responses to keep up.

While all areas of tech evolve with amazing speed, most are driven by the constant gradual pressure of consumer desire. Meanwhile cybersecurity has a daily requirement for advancement due to the actions of external forces. We often have to take big leaps into entirely new product categories to respond to new risks.

Can you share insights into the early days of cybersecurity and how Atlantic Data Security was involved with the first firewall installations?

Eric:  My personal journey with Check Point started in the mid 90’s with one of Check Point’s early reseller partners. By 1998 or 1999, our business transitioned from being a network integrator/VAR to a dedicated security shop — primarily selling, installing, and supporting Check Point firewall and VPN solutions. Shortly after that, I became our second certified Check Point instructor to help handle the massive demand for training. I have continued to get more involved with all aspects of Check Point ever since (from the partner side), including taking the helm of the Check Point User Group back in 2014.

One of my favorite aspects of our current company is how many of us have known each other for decades; either working at the same company, as partners, or competitors, and how much of that history shares Check Point as a common thread.

My favorite example is with Kevin Haley, one of the owners of ADS. When I first met him in 2001, he had long since been running the security reseller division of a company called Netegrity. He had been focused primarily on selling and supporting Check Point products from back when their name was Internet Security Corporation — which had the distinction of being Check Point’s first partner in the U.S.

What are some of the key lessons learned via efforts around the first firewall installations and how do they inform cybersecurity strategies today?

Eric:  Back then, we were all learning a lot about security. Many of us had some comprehensive networking experience, but the extent of our “security” exposure was often just a handful of passwords. Our footprint was typically contained within a few buildings and maybe a small group of remote users.

It was amazing to see how rapidly the internet changed our security exposure from local to global. Almost overnight we had to start contending with an entirely new class threats. Forward-thinking companies like Check Point were there to give us the tools we needed, but we had to quickly grow from network engineers to cybersecurity experts. This rapid reshaping of the landscape has never really stopped. Every time things seem to settle down a bit, a new trend or technology, like cloud adoption or the shift to remote work, comes along to shake it up.

Ultimately, we need to remain agile and flexible. We can’t reliably predict the next big change we so need to have buffers in our planning. I think it goes beyond incident planning and is more something like “paradigm shift planning.” What resources do we have available for the next big thing? Having a good handle on current projects and priorities can allow for better optimization of resources.

We saw this with the adoption of VPN almost 30 years ago. Organizations were either using either modems and phone lines or slow, expensive direct connections, like frame relay and T1’s.  While VPN wasn’t a required shift, its was vastly better, reducing costs, improving speed, and enhancing security. Clients who were flexible enough to adopt VPN early reaped significant advantages. Others took much longer to adapt, having to deal with higher costs and more cumbersome operations throughout. While this wasn’t an essential shift to deal with an imminent threat, it clearly illustrated the advantages that organizations can gain by being flexible and the role of cybersecurity in enabling the business to function more broadly.

The CISO role is known for its evolution. Given all of the demands placed on modern CISOs (technology, people management, board-level commitments), does it still make sense to have a single CISO role? How do you foresee the role continuing to evolve? How would you like to see it evolve?

Eric: I recently spoke to a room full of CISOs and others serving similar roles. I asked them two questions: “Who among you will not be held responsible in the event of a breach?” No one raised their hand. “Who among you has all of the necessary power and resources to keep it from happening?” A few hands did go up; all from people working at smaller organizations with relatively flat hierarchies, allowing them more latitude and purview than we see in most mid-sized organizations or larger. But they all agreed that while CISOs bear the massive burden of cyber defense, they aren’t given the budget, staff, authority, or support to keep from buckling under it.

While I’d love to see the role of the CISO change, I fear that the broad interpretation of the title/term is unlikely to shift significantly.

What I really want to see is for security to become part of every department’s structure and culture. It would be great to have security officers within each department; from infrastructure, to desktops, to finance, especially in DevOps, and everywhere else. Those officers could be more in tune with their group’s specific drivers and needs, working closely with them to reach goals, with security as an overarching priority and mandate. A CISO’s role in that environment would be to globalize and unify security efforts across an organization.

I have seen things like this being done in some forward-thinking organizations. Making security a part of all aspects of an organization will only make it stronger.

Given the current pace of technological advancement, how do you anticipate that cybersecurity technology will evolve across the next decade? What are your thoughts about the role of artificial intelligence?

Eric:  That’s a loaded one! There are some clear areas that are already starting to show improvement. Tool consolidation and orchestration solutions have helped manage complexity more effectively than ever. As a field, we’re getting better at cultivating security-conscious cultures in our organization.

One major trend that I hope will continue is progress towards greater accountability. While GRC can feel overreaching and burdensome, when implemented properly, it grants us the freedom to share and use data. Our industry developed so quickly that it was impossible to put guardrails on it. If we look at a more mature industry like transportation or finance, they have rules and regulations that have evolved over a much longer time. While speed limits and safety inspections can seem restrictive, we largely accept them. It’s similar to how rules and regulations allow drivers to share roads with some degree of confidence that their safety isn’t in immediate jeopardy. Companies have repeatedly demonstrated that responsibility and accountability won’t be adopted voluntarily. Painful as they may seem, regulations and standards like PCI, HIPAA, and GDPR have shown some positive movement in this direction.

AI is proving to be an area where this type of governance is essential and welcomed by most. Not to be too flippant, but if science-fiction is any indicator of our potential non-fiction future, as it often is, unchecked, unregulated, unleashed AI could eventually be our downfall.

While it’s a very hot topic right now, and it will continue to reshape the world around us, I don’t subscribe to the idea that it will be a tool used primarily for either good or evil. Experience has shown me that every technological advancement has ultimately provided benefits to both the well-meaning and ill-intended. I may be overly optimistic, but I feel like both sides eventually find ways to leverage the same tools to effectively cancel each other out. One concern is the gap created as each side leverages new tech at a different rate. The time it takes to develop a response is nail-biting.

Another interesting yet frightening advancement may show up in the area of computational power; either true quantum computing or something close to it. As has always been the case, as stronger computing becomes available, it can be used both for data protection and compromise. While both keep pace with each other, a significant leap in computational power may lead to a downside that’s hard to counter: Data captured today, no matter how securely encrypted by today’s standards, would be trivial to crack tomorrow. It’s a major concern, and if I had the answer, I’d be off working up a business plan.

Are there specific threat vectors, such as supply chain vulnerabilities, that you expect to become more prevalent in the near future?

Eric:  I think the most prevalent vector will usually be closely tied to whatever our biggest weakness is. In an odd way, I hope that it continues to change — because that moving target means we’re successfully dealing with our biggest weaknesses, forcing threat actors to change tactics.

Specifically, I think DevOps is an area that needs major improvement — or at least more focus on security. This was recently underscored by a joint CISA/FBI alert urging executives at all levels to work harder to eliminate SQL injection related vulnerabilities.

Identity management and authentication is another area that needs more scrutiny. Weak credentials and unnecessarily elevated access continue to be a leading factors in security breaches. While MFA and stronger rights management can be inconvenient and challenging, they need to be embraced and adopted comprehensively. It’s that one, old, forgotten “test” account that will be exploited.

Back to my hopeful redefining of the CISO role, parts of an organization that don’t recognize security as an essential, integral priority, will continue to expose us. Security as an afterthought, applied with duct tape and followed by prayers, isn’t working.

If you were to select 1-2 meaningful highlights of your career, what would they be and what corresponding lessons can be shared with other cybersecurity professionals?

Eric:  It’s a tough question because I’ve been fortunate enough to have quite a few. I think the seminal moment, however, came as a teenager, before I was able to drive. While my summer job was not technical in nature, I spent a lot of time with our hardware technician. He happened to be out sick one day and I was asked if I could help a customer in need. Thus began a career in IT — once someone agreed to drive me to the customer’s office.

One broad highlight for me has been meeting new people. I’ve had the good fortune to get to know some amazing folks from all over the world, whether I was the one traveling or they were. Interactions with each and every one of them have shaped me into who I am, for better or worse. My advice in that area is not to pass up an opportunity to engage, and when given that chance, to check your ego at the door. My younger self always wanted to be the smartest person in the room. I’ve learned that, while maybe once or twice I was (or was allowed to believe I was), that gets boring and stressful. While I’m still often called on to share my knowledge, experience, opinions, and creative/wacky ideas, I revel in being able to listen and learn from others. I’m happy to be proven wrong as well, because once I have been, I’m more knowledgeable than I was before.

Do you have recommendations for CISOs regarding how to prioritize cybersecurity investments in their organizations? New factors to consider?

Eric:  I find myself repeatedly advising CISOs, not to get sucked into a knee-jerk replacement of technology. It’s easy to point fingers at products or solutions that aren’t “working.” Often, however, the failure is in the planning, execution, administration, or even buy-in. I cry a little on the inside when I learn about aggressive rip-and-replace initiatives that could have been salvaged or fixed for far less money and with much less grief. If the core problems aren’t addressed, the replacement could ultimately suffer the same fate.

I’ve also seen successfully aggressive marketing campaigns lead to impulse purchases of products that are either unnecessary or redundant because an existing solution had that unrealized, untapped capability.

The bottom line is to take comprehensive stock of what you have and to investigate alternatives to all-out replacement. Don’t level the house in favor of a complete re-build just because of a leaky pipe. Of course, if the foundation is collapsing…

Would you like to share a bit about your partnership with Check Point? What does that mean to your organization?

Eric:  Check Point is how I personally cut my teeth in cybersecurity, and therefore will always have a special place in my heart. But at Atlantic Data Security, I’m far from the only one with that long standing connection. It’s almost like Check Point is in our DNA.

Starting with the invention of the modern firewall, continuing for over 30 years of constant innovation, Check Point has been the most consistent vendor in the industry. Many players have come and gone, but Check Point has never wavered from their mission to provide the best security products. I’ve learned to trust their vision and foresight.

As a similarly laser-focused advisor and provider of security solutions and services to our clients, we have complete confidence that properly deployed and maintained Check Point solutions won’t let us or the client, down.

We work with a variety of vendors, providing us with the flexibility to solve client challenges in the most effective and efficient way possible. We always evaluate each need and recommend the optimal solution — based on many factors. Far more often than not, Check Point’s offerings, backed by their focus, research, and vision, prove to be the best choice.

Our commitment to and confidence in this has allowed us to amass an outstanding, experienced, technical team. Our unmatched ability to scope, plan, deploy, support, maintain, and train our clients on Check Point’s portfolio is leveraged by organizations of all types and sizes.

I’m confident that between ADS and Check Point, we’re making the cyber world a safer place.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with Check Point’s executive-level audience?

Cybersecurity is not one department’s responsibility. For every employee, every manager, every executive, and yes, even the entire C-cuite, cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility.

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Guilty Gear Strive Anime Adaptation Called ‘Dual Rulers’ Announced

Developer Arc System Works has revealed Guilty Gear Strive: Dual Rulers, an anime adaptation based on its hit 2021 fighting game. Though there’s no release date or window in sight, Arc System Works says Sanzigen Studios is producing the anime. Notably, Sanzigen Studios is the same studio behind protagonist Sol Badguy’s “Find Your Way” music video in Guilty Gear Strive. 

As for what to expect from a plot perspective, Arc System Works has revealed little, though it says Dual Rulers will be at this year’s Anime Expo 2024 in July. 

“Shigeru Morikawa (famous for Argonavis the Movie: Axia) will direct,” the Dual Rulers announcement reads. “Others attached to the project include Guilty Gear writer Norimitsu Kaihō for series composition and Seiji Mizushima (famous for Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Fullmetal Alchemist) as associate producer.”

Here’s a look at Dual Rulers’ key art: 

Guilty Gear Strive Dual Rulers Anime Adaptation Announced

What do you hope Dual Rulers is about? Let us know in the comments below!

Our Favorite Games Of Summer Game Fest 2024 | GI Show

In this week’s episode of The Game Informer Show, our boots-on-the-ground crew returns from Los Angeles to discuss their favorite games from Summer Game Fest, Ubisoft Forward, the Xbox Games Showcase, and orbiting events. 

Watch the Video Version:

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Follow us on social media: Alex Van Aken (@itsVanAken), Brian Shea (@BrianPShea), Charles Harte (@Chuckduck365)

The Game Informer Show is a weekly gaming podcast covering the latest video game news, industry topics, exclusive reveals, and reviews. Join host Alex Van Aken every Thursday to chat about your favorite games – past and present – with Game Informer staff, developers, and special guests from around the industry. Listen on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or your favorite podcast app.

The Game Informer Show – Podcast Timestamps:

00:00:00 – Intro

00:01:52 – Summer Game Fest 2024 Deep Dive

01:47:06 – Housekeeping