The Witcher Series Can’t Hold A Candle To The Games

By Christopher Isaac | Published

henry cavill witcher

The latest images for season 4 of Netflix’s The Witcher are out, showing off Liam Hemsworth replacing Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia. Fans are not enthusiastic about the change, but then they already were not happy about a lot of decisions the show runners have been making. It has gotten to the point that many fans of The Witcher franchise, myself included, are suggesting newcomers check out The Witcher video games for the best way to experience the story.

The Witcher Video Games

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It is really The Witcher video games that helped elevate the franchise into the public consciousness in the first place. While the books by Andrzej Sapkowski were already considered classics in his native Poland, the translations for the full story had not come out in English yet at the time the first game was released.

So the first game was largely an unknown property trying to get recognition among all the other fantasy RPGS that are on the market.

Praising The Game’s Story

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2007’s The Witcher video game feels clunky by today’s standards, but everyone still praises the game’s story. It immediately grabbed people’s attention for forcing the player to make morally complex choices where there was no making everyone happy.

The books were known as a dark subversion of many fairy tale stories, and the game lived up to that atmosphere. The plot is so well-liked that a remake of the first game is actually in the works.

Netflix Deviates And Henry Cavill Leaves

henry cavill

With Netflix’s The Witcher, the most common criticism has been that it deviates too far from the source material.

Henry Cavill has not spoken in too much detail on his reasons for leaving the project, but rumors swirled that he had clashed hard with the writers over the direction they were taking the show.

Cavill has been very open about his passion for the franchise and video games in general, so he supposedly had strong opinions about how the story should go.

Games Honor The Books

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With The Witcher games, they actually act as sequels to where Sapkowski’s books left off.

And they start off with Geralt developing amnesia, so they work as a great entry point to the franchise as this provides an excuse for the player to learn about Geralt’s past adventures.

The games honor what came before in the story while also building something new and creative.

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

While the first two Witcher games have tremendous characters and plots, it is the third game that has solidified the series in the minds of many fans as some of the best games ever made.

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt finally brings Ciri and Yennifer into the games and shows the complexity of Geralt’s relationships with them.

On the one hand, Geralt was bred to be an emotionless monster hunter. On the other hand, he views Ciri as a surrogate daughter and can’t help developing feelings for Yennifer.

Liam Hemsworth To The Witcher Rescue?

Whereas with Netflix’s The Witcher, season 3 is where many fans officially turned on the show. In the books and games, Geralt is the focal point of the story, but the show continues to dilute Geralt’s screen time by adding more point-of-view characters who are not as captivating.

Many fans feel the writers don’t even care about adapting the story of the books and are just using the franchise’s brand recognition to tell their own stories.

I don’t wish any failure upon Netflix’s The Witcher, and maybe Liam Hemsworth can help right the ship for the show. But there is no denying that right now, the games are unparalleled in providing the strongest way to experience the world of The Witcher.