I've really, really been enjoying this. Perhaps what I like the most is the feeling of discovery you get when you figure out/realize some new combo or strategy. It's a bit of a shame you can't always plan/execute them (since a lot of it depends on the cards you get/are offered), but, it definitely scratches the same itch I have with magic.
I guess the difference is that in MtG, it seems like everyone else has already figured out all the combos and so I always play against these stacked decks (when online). Here, since it's a single-player game, I guess it's all me all the time.
I think I've been able to slay the spire at least once with all the characters - but I haven't unlocked all the cards. So, need to play some more!
So, I finished it. And uh... it gets more interesting, but not substantially so. I think it's mostly a matter of taste for me - the game is "fine", I just wasn't that interested or intrigued by the story and characters.
Yes, it was interesting to learn more about the world's backstory and such...and yes, it was interesting to know more about the characters and see their relationships evolve. But, I guess I'm not that drawn to soap operas?
The longer I play, the less I like the protagonist - mostly because he's acts all righteous but then (when I control him) he does terrible things. Actually, he does terrible things in the cut-scenes as well.
Still, I have enjoyed the game immensely, but I've decided I won't finish the campaign. I'm 2/3 through the 2nd act and I've realized I don't like the shooty bits THAT much - mostly because I often die because I'm stuck "crouching/in cover" and can't run/move to another place fast enough. I'm blaming myself for that for the most part - it's a way to do combat that emphasizes patience and stealth (I think?) and...I sometimes don't have that much patience.
I think what I've enjoyed and appreciated the most about the game is:
a. How large and interesting so much of the world is - there's all kinds of little details in the things you intercept as well as the places you can go. Having lived in Chicago is a real treat - since you recognize places and also recognize the differences. And then, a lot of the fun really comes from trying to figure out what certain places are meant to be - if anything. Sure, I lived in Chicago - but I'm no expert on the city...so there's lots of doubt in my mind about what some of the places really are. I guess this is why I decided to get the "visit all the special locations" trophy.
b. The hacking was fun and I enjoyed it as an alternative to busting in to places guns blazing and all that.
c. While I had a hard time shaking cops when I got into trouble, in some of the later missions I really enjoyed being able to "hack" stuff in the street to help me get away and so on. It felt pretty cool.
d. I also did all the "Privacy Invasion" missions - those were REALLY interesting. Not so much the doing them, but watching all those little vignettes of life. In my view, it's one of the best things about the game - especially in the sense of them (often) being a place for social commentary on the challenges of daily life. They're kind of all over the place and some of them are REALLY serious, touching, moving, thoughtful, and thought provoking. There's one that still sticks with me..it's basically an empty house, and you see a body on the floor and the phone you hack has a message from someone the owner's son talking about how he wants to see him, he's not a bother, etc. The homeowner, an older man, is dead. Did he kill himself? Have a heart attack? So many questions! ...and so many privacy invasions were like this.
I've been enjoying this so far - the hacking part is neat and I like being able to take over cameras and follow "links" of things to open doors and whatnot.
This game REALLY feels like it's trying to be GTA, with the driving and all the rest which I've found quite surprising. There's a whole system for getting new cars, upgrading driving-related skills/perks, and everytime you steal a car it gets added to the ones you can "rent" (if you hadn't found that model before).
So far, the only REALLY jarring part of the experience for me is the disconnect between the idea that you can do good deeds for a positive reputation BUT that those deeds are often shown on-screen as really brutal physical takedowns. So, a dude robs a person, I chase them down and then I literally slam them against the pavement (passersby even freak out), but I'm good? I guess it's like I'm Batman. Ha!