Oh man, thanks a lot for posting that, saw it about a week ago and it reminded me to go back and play through Cultist Simulator now that it is updated.
In all honesty I am pretty torn on the game. On the one hand I really love it, but on the other - it can be really freaking annoying at times. Since I can't get the cracked version with DLC's to work, I completed only the definitive one by doing Power victory into Apostle Aestuant victory, but even that took way too long, and this is coming from a player that already cracked the bullshit that the game throws at you. Even then, it was still stressful at times, knowing I could loose many hours of progress because I skipped paint day.
The Apostle Aestuant victory at time feels like it is taking the piss in all honesty. Having really unclear instructions is kind of cool I guess, but the decision to put one of the conditions for victory on a timed card that you can only get 2-3 times max while also needing another timed card with a lifetime so small that you can only get it after the one which is limited in quantity is pretty fucking sadistic game design. Also I'd argue they screwed up with the rival Long. At best he was annoying and quite literally works like a gnat bite - it gets worse the more you scratch it. I decided to ignore them, which is sad, as I was interested in what would happen if I got to kill them, but I didn't dare risk the run.
Not to mention how grindy it is, especially if you die and have to restart your entire follower, book and spell collection. At least I am a WoW player AND I played CitK where I had to flip all of the Third World red on many occasions, so at least I have some resilience built up for this type of shit, but I can really see how it would be a massive turn-off. It made me rage quit a few times back when the game was fresh, as deaths were more common for a newbie.
However, positives outweigh the annoyances. The story is phenomenal in my opinion. Best part is that it makes you feel like you yourself become an expert on all of this esoteric knowledge - you realize what Names, Longs and Hours actually are, you start to understand the rivalries between them, synonymous names and so on. The only other time I felt something similar was in Sunless Skies when you slowly start to understand how the setting works, and when I was really into Star Wars bootlegs, slowly starting to perfectly understand not only what the garbled gibberish words mean, but also how they came to be translated that way.
Anyway, its not only the presentation of the story, but the setting it self that is fascinating, with an interesting take on the Pantheon trope and a good use of the 1930's historic moment as a backdrop to the games events, which seems to only be stronger in the Exile DLC, that I sadly can't play. The writing is, well, good, solid, no complaints. Actually, this might be somewhat of a non sequitur, but the romance writing is great, even though the innuendos and descriptions never even cross softcore, and has, let's just say, proven to be great material for me.
Also, while I ragged on the gameplay before, it is really great in certain aspects. It is cool to discover things for the first time, and even though I would consider myself a "veteran", it is still managing to surprise me at times with things I can do. Also, the reward loop of gathering lore and being rewarded by getting to read occult scraps from it to expand your own knowledge of the setting is really good, though doesn't quite work in repeated playthroughs.
I guess one shame is that there are quite a few wasted things. For instance certain principles, as I just couldn't find a use for them, I don't think I have ever used Edge or Winter ever, and Knock I only used for one or two spells and nothing more. Same goes for Heart and Moth, but I know these are needed for the Dancer DLC. Perhaps this criticism is misplaced and the Priest and Medium use the other three, but as it stands baseline, it is sad that there are no real uses for these lore aspects. Also some rites for spells are downright useless as they sacrifice things you'd never want to give away. Would be interesting if certain spells required certain rites as well.
In conclusion, a very good game with some nagging flaws. Would recommend to all who liked Sunless series, like esoteric fiction or like challenging puzzle games.