Reply 3760 of 4034, by Sombrero
NovaCN wrote on 2022-01-16, 15:10:
I know the games are supposed to be really good (the third especially) and I would love to see more of these characters and world, but between the above and not really knowing how well the developers necessarily understood the themes (and for lack of a better word, politics) of the source material I really love, I'm given pause. Curious what you all think, and again I apologize for rambling on for so long.
I haven't seen the show, but have played the games and read the books, so here's my take on the games setting wise:
The Witcher 1 was the first game CD Projekt Red developed and while they were ambitious with some aspects of the game (a bit too much actually.. the game got released as a janky mess and in some parts still is) they clearly didn't want to tie the game to the book storyline and has very little to do with it. Just the familiar world and some characters from the books with a (pretty bad) story they themselves cooked up. They also don't explain in any way how Geralt is alive again, he just shows up with an amnesia and then the game story kicks off. It's actually really odd if you read the books first and then play the game as the few familiar characters from the books don't explain anything to Geralt, they pretty much just say "oh you're alive!" and then go on like the books don't exist, nobody thinks to mention Ciri or Yennefer to Geralt. The game does otherwise have lots of nods to the books, some happenings from them are actually pretty much recreated or partly mirrored in the game. The game feels like a bit janky tribute to the books that has a heart of gold, made by a bunch of fans who were inexperienced and didn't dare to mess with the official storyline. I think they did succeed well enough in the end considering it's their first game, I do think they got the world and setting dialed in pretty well, but the story... just try not to think it as continuation of the books.
The Witcher 2 had much bigger production values and the writing got way better, but unfortunately I also do think they tried too hard. I just don't enjoy playing it which is a shame as the story is A LOT better than in the first game and is much closer to the politics and themes of the books. It's still a sequel to the first game and not the books though, the world sees some continuation but Geralts storyline from the books does not.
The Witcher 3 finally stopped prancing around the books and continues the story of Geralt, Ciri and Yennefer and is the only game where you really do benefit from reading the books first. I do have a list of things I don't like about the game, mainly to do with the open world design, but the setting, story, quests and characters and interaction with them are so well done that I really do highly recommend the game if you like the books.