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Darth Bane: Path of Destruction

Have you ever wondered how it is like to train in the Dark Side and experience life in a Sith Academy? If you’re coming from Star Wars movies, then maybe you’re wondering what I am talking about. There’s no such thing as a Sith Academy. The Sith are few, trained in secret and used as weapons by the Darth, the Sith Master. But why is that?

A long time ago, in the same galaxy, there was a war between Sith and Jedi. And the Sith and Jedi were many, and both had schools and whatnot.

And if nothing of what I say makes sense, go watch any Star Wars (though some movies are awful) – I heard it’s a very famous part of Disney palette nowadays.

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Hitman – stumbling upon assassinations

I study games through the lens of experience. Let’s see how Hitman (released in 2016) stands.

Hitman fashion gala
The crowds are easily the best part of the game

The game

Hitman is a series of games where you play a super-assassin, that can perfectly blend in the crowd and kill his targets through various means, from direct headshots to manipulation of events in such a way that the kill appears an accident. Or if things go south, he can surround the target with explosives and press the boom button. Or just slap the target with a fish and kill him, because… game logic.

At its core, it’s actually a puzzle game of exploration. Identify targets, find ways to eliminate, put all the parts together in such a way that our hitman achieves the perfect kill.

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Flight of the Eisenstein (Horus Heresy #4)

Well, this was weird.
And awesome. A page-turner.
And boring. A snooze-fest.

What is going on? You might ask. I think this book is known in the Warhammer universe as the Half-heard. Because I was genuinely surprised with the second part but bored to tears with the first part. This is weird because being written this way can make you lose readers. But I guess, I was also guilty of reading reviews before, reviews which praised the quality of the story in the second half.

The story in the Flight of the Eisenstein continues the story from the main trilogy by focusing on the escape of Nathaniel Garro in his attempt to deliver news of Horus’s betrayal to Terra. I like how the first three books set so many potential new storylines that you care about (even a little). So it feels natural to continue reading about a new character doing new stuff, but still connected in some way to the events in the galaxy. It’s different than the normal Warhammer 40K novels where you don’t really know the timeline even if you’ve read them all. (Don’t cheat and use some sort of internet Wiki)

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Galaxy in Flames (Horus Heresy #3)

Another generic Warhammer science fantasy that is MANDATORY reading for those of us who already have read the first 2 books of the Horus Heresy trilogy (Horus Rising & False Gods). I am being overly critical but it is rightfully so. When you start a trilogy, you expect the quality to stay the same, or drop a little bit, but not drop so substantially that it feels you’re reading another book.

But again, I’m being too harsh, because after all, I’ve finished reading it, and it kept me going. I almost forgot what sleep is reading this book, even if I was rolling my eyes so much they almost fell from my orbits.

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False Gods (Horus Heresy #2)

An angry guy
I’ll pretend to choose my own way
More angry guys

If you’ve read my thoughts on the previous entry in Horus Heresy, you know it really saved the Warhammer 40k universe. It was such a good book that let other authors continue the series in a very big way.

So the second author in the series is Graham McNeill and what does he do first?

He makes Horus a really angry guy, because why not mess with the personality of someone intelligent, rational, and diplomatic? Why not make him angry and recalcitrant all the time?

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Watch Dogs 2

It’s a beautiful day in San Francisco, clouds passing through the top of the Golden Gate bridge, and hackers speeding on the highway. It’s a beautiful day in San Francisco and I’m trying to get the perfect picture of a man puking on the concrete.

My biggest regret is I couldn’t get off my phone fast enough. He finished throwing up and then he neatly comb his hair, straighten his jacket, and was on his merry way.

Another failure. I’m still following him, in the focus of my smartphone lenses, when a woman decides to show off her bottom while sticking her tongue at me. Whatever passes for photobombing these days.

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The Brain – the story of you

For the short review of this book, check out my Goodreads review.

Who are you? No, seriously, who are you? Where in your body is that part that is truly you, the one that has control and decision power?

Tell me. Is it the brain?

But how do you know that? How can some grey matter that stays inert in your skull be you? Are you a brain in a vat, dreaming the daily life? Again, whatever your answer is, my question is how do you know? Do you trust your senses and your intuition?

David Eagleman invites us to discover the mysteries of the brain. And when I say discover I want to say marvel at the things we don’t understand. We don’t know all the answers, but we are on the way to ask the right questions.

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XPG – games in-between

Since times immemorial (a few decades ago), the vast majority of games evolved into video games and the dream of living into one blossomed. Quests for complex rules and winning strategies twisted and shifting into quests for immersion which also evolved into maximum entertainment with friends. Or competitive gameplay and tournaments and esports, with fixed rules.

We are at a strange time in history. We are oversaturated by games. Games on the street, games at home, games on the computer, games on consoles, games on phones, games at work, games on weekends. And yet we always keep in mind that clear line that separates us from the game world. We sometimes step inside it but we always come back and the only thing we remember from those games are fragmented memories of silliness or winning strategies.

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Horus Rising (Horus Heresy #1)

The very beginnings of the fall of Horus
Philosophical and political topics about the position of humanity in the galaxy
Religion practiced in secret in the age of illumination

There are two types of readers. Those who know Warhammer 40K and those who will know. So, let’s start with the boring introduction. Warhammer 40K is a miniature hobby board game released a long time ago in the UK that has gained an international audience ever since. The game has an extensive lore and plenty of books, audio drama, and games (board games or video games) have been produced about its Universe. Soon, this year as of writing, Warhammer will delve into the video format and give us a streaming service and some animations movies, and someday in the future probably even a live-action movie.

Anyway, I have zero interest in the 40K video games (most of them are mediocre anyway) or in the board games or in collecting miniatures (though they look badass in the hand of a skilled painter). I’m also not interested in military SF books that describe battle scenes in excruciating detail. So what am I interested in?

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