The Witcher series

Shadyside

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Can someone tell me what The Witcher series is all about? Despite how popular and successful it is, I really don't see people talk about the story or anything about it, unlike other franchises where people can write out essays long after its been released. Is there an overarching narrative? Or is it just about a monster slayer fixing the problems of other characters?
 

Bob_McMillan

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The Witcher games are basically fan fiction of the Witcher books. And while yeah there were hints of an overarching narrative (ice elves from another world are invading), from what I know the three games barely overlap. You can kind of tell they were never quite sure what they wanted to do with the series. The Witcher 3, the only game I have played extensively in the series, shines more in it's side quests. The main story is probably the worst thing about the game. It doesn't help that the games all have multiple possible endings.

Also, more people probably played TW3 than TW1 and 2 combined. So that's why you don't really hear people talking about the games' story.

Short summary of the games: Geralt, the witcher, is presumed dead at the end of the books but shows up again with his memory erased. He goes up against an anti-magic faction and kills their leader. However, anti-magic sentiment still lingers.

After while, Geralt gets caught up in a scheme to assassinate the kings of the land, a plot concocted by the "evil" faction from the south. Lots of kings die till a conference is called where the sorcerers (who manipulate the world behind the scenes) try to mediate the peace. Turns out one of them conspired to help kill the kings the sorcerers didn't like. So there's a huge battle and tons of people die.

In the Witcher 3, its just all out North vs South with Geralt reuniting with Ciri, his "child" from the books, and Yennefer. In the end Ciri manages to save the world from an icy apocalypse.
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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Can someone tell me what The Witcher series is all about? Despite how popular and successful it is, I really don't see people talk about the story or anything about it, unlike other franchises where people can write out essays long after its been released. Is there an overarching narrative? Or is it just about a monster slayer fixing the problems of other characters?

As mentioned above, they’re a pseudo continuation of the Polish novels in game form. There’s a lot of subplots involving issues of race, class, political, etc. struggles. Each of the games have their strengths and weaknesses, where each subsequent is also generally a big jump in overall quality. I’ve enjoyed playing all three for different reasons:

1 has the best quest design, atmosphere, progression and inventory system to me as a PC player, but the game engine and combat are...dated is the most polite way to put it.

2 has much improved gameplay, visuals, performance but the progression is very linear and they went for more of a cinematic approach to many combat encounters which felt cheap.

3 pretty much fixed most of the previous issues but also threw in a bloated world with tons of fetch quests and icons to chase, which hurt progression and ruined the overall story pacing. The leveling system is also too restrictive in that it’ll lock you out of some quests due to being under-leveled. Actually IIRC all three do, but it’s especially noticeable here. Might be due to there also being a strange bug for me where it’ll automatically track my next quest as one that’s far higher than my current available quest level. I’m also only about half way through it, but have taken several breaks because it’s so massive.

A great series overall though, especially if you enjoy western rpgs.
 
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SilentPony

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There's an angry guy and there's a few angry ladies and they do angry things, and sometimes titties happen, and there's like monsters and they do monster things but OH NO what if MAN was the biggest monster of them all?! Also butts happen. Also the controls are ass.
 

happyninja42

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Can someone tell me what The Witcher series is all about? Despite how popular and successful it is, I really don't see people talk about the story or anything about it, unlike other franchises where people can write out essays long after its been released. Is there an overarching narrative? Or is it just about a monster slayer fixing the problems of other characters?
I didn't play 1 or 2, as I got super bored with Witcher 1 while just in the tutorial. But I did play 3, and yes, there is an overarcing narrative, but it's REALLY easy to forget about it. Like all massive open world sandboxes, you can forget the main story arc for weeks of playtime, and do nothing but sidequest stuff. I personally found the game incredibly boring, and uninteresting, but I did finish it, because I felt a little compelled to do so.

But it's basically just your typical cynical, gravel voiced, chiseled chin protagonist, going around, being hated by everyone he meets because he's a freaky mutant, but also needing him to work for them and kill the monsters that are attacking them. The premise of the whole witcher order, is that they always work for coin, they are quite adamant about this point apparently. Sadly, the game makes coin almost worthless, as there is almost nothing worth buying, so the whole "I will kill the monster for coin" ethos falls apart in gameplay due to ludo narrative dissonance. I actually roleplayed Growly McGrowlFace as never asking for more coin from anyone that wasn't a dick to him. If they were at least civil to him, and treated him with respect and decency, he would either do it for free (if it was an option), or at base price. If the person was a dick to Growly, I'd try and fleece them for every coin I could, because fuck them.

But....yeah I mean, it was a game, stuff happened. I didn't really give a shit about any of it. It felt very bland and samey as the game went on. Everything was just killing monsters. And yeah I get it, that's his job, but it made for a really repetitive 40-60 hours of gameplay.
 

Bob_McMillan

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Is the netflix show any good?
Its alright. It captures the messy flow of the books. Mutiple time periods being shown out of order. It's good for a Netflix show I feel, but nothing particularly special.

If you want the Witcher experience without playing the extremely dated games, this guy has very, VERY detailed videos on the first two.
Longest videos I've ever watched, still can't believe I finished them tbh.
 

Buyetyen

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I've read the first 2 books. They're pretty good. The games are okay. I only finished the 3rd one, which I really enjoyed. It's actually has some of the best hard-boiled detective tropes you'll see in a fantasy. The Netflix series is good. Though for a Polish fantasy, there sure are a lot of Dutch angles.
 

CriticalGaming

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Is the netflix show any good?
Yes it's very good.

The original novels sort of started out as the author's Fan Fiction version of popular fairy tales. The first book "The Last Wish" follows Geralt as he has adventures that run parallels to some famous fairy tales. For example early in the book Geralt visits the Monster from Beauty and the Beast, and is told a tale of how it all started that the Beast is nothing more than a dude playing up the beast part of a curse laid before him.

Geralt is a monster hunter inserted into a world in which fairy tales and myths and legends are at least somewhat true. And I believe that they do a good job of sort of acting like an Alternate-history telling of this famous tales.

As for the games. The only game that really stands out is the 3rd game. While the first two games are decent, they suffer through a lot of growing pains.

But essentially the games follow the same philosophy that the original author used in the books. They are fan fictional-esque stories in a world where legends and myths are real and you serve as a monster hunter who travels around sorting out supernatural problems for people who are far ill-equiped to handle such things. Along the way there are very good characters with very human condition stories to tell around them.

The later books move on from Geralt as a central character and most of the books actually revolve around Ciri as the main character. I imagine if they ever make a Witcher 4, the games will follow that trend.
 

The Rogue Wolf

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The Witcher is a series of games about Jerry from the River, his luxurious hair, a bunch of women he has sex with, ugly monsters and even more ugly male NPCs. Choices have consequences, including the choice to not play the first game because the controls were absolute ass. Also there's a card game because why not.
 
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Iron

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Can someone tell me what The Witcher series is all about? Despite how popular and successful it is, I really don't see people talk about the story or anything about it, unlike other franchises where people can write out essays long after its been released. Is there an overarching narrative? Or is it just about a monster slayer fixing the problems of other characters?
In short? The games occur after the books.
The books are an amalgamation of short stories and novellas. They're about a fantsatical world - and how mundane it is thanks to humans, which is told through the eyes of a mutant bounty-hunter.
The games? It's an amalgamation of side-quests with an overarching story. The side-stories are better than the main story, which fits the books as well.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Yes it's very good.

The original novels sort of started out as the author's Fan Fiction version of popular fairy tales. The first book "The Last Wish" follows Geralt as he has adventures that run parallels to some famous fairy tales. For example early in the book Geralt visits the Monster from Beauty and the Beast, and is told a tale of how it all started that the Beast is nothing more than a dude playing up the beast part of a curse laid before him.

Geralt is a monster hunter inserted into a world in which fairy tales and myths and legends are at least somewhat true. And I believe that they do a good job of sort of acting like an Alternate-history telling of this famous tales.

As for the games. The only game that really stands out is the 3rd game. While the first two games are decent, they suffer through a lot of growing pains.

But essentially the games follow the same philosophy that the original author used in the books. They are fan fictional-esque stories in a world where legends and myths are real and you serve as a monster hunter who travels around sorting out supernatural problems for people who are far ill-equiped to handle such things. Along the way there are very good characters with very human condition stories to tell around them.

The later books move on from Geralt as a central character and most of the books actually revolve around Ciri as the main character. I imagine if they ever make a Witcher 4, the games will follow that trend.

CDPR stated earlier in the year they’re interested in continuing the series, but with another main character and storyline. So you’re probably right on the money.
 

meiam

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People don't talk about the story because it's not very good/memorable. The witcher has excellent writing, but all the great stuff is self contained, the overall story and world building is pretty bare bone, the writting and character have to do all the heavy lifting.

Couldn't stand 1 so I can't talk much about it. 2 is pretty focused in its story. 3 story is almost incidental for most of the game, almost everything you do has only the most teneous of link to the overall narrative (at some point you have to rescue someone so they can help you rescue someone so they can help you rescue someone so they can sorta help you rescue someone).