Hello, I am Sir [insert your name] Brante and I am prepared for this mystery-filled adventure in which, through choices, I will forge my own destiny. Will I become the nobleman my entire family desires to honor the Brante name? Will I be guided by wise and divine signs to be a devout cleric? Or perhaps I will simply act through my own beliefs and ideals and settle to be, what society refers to as a simple commoner.
Be that as it may in “The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante“ (TLSSB) you will surely enjoy the path you choose to carve out for yourself. Released last March 4, 2021; this video game was developed by the Russian studio “Sever” and distributed by 101XP. Providing many hours of good historically themed reading where every choice taken, will be of utmost importance in forging your character. TLSSB is part of the Grimdark subgenre; belonging to the genre of fiction and fantasy. This type of fiction is experiencing a resurgence of popularity and a transformation to digital adaptation created by companies such as Inkle Studios and Tin Man Games.
An average playthrough should take approximately 15 hours to finish the game. At least the first time it is played. Since the game has a fairly branched narrative and accessible roleplaying system it generating a fair amount of replayability. Allowing for multiple playthroughs as many times as desired. Allowing the experience to change with the player’s motivations and desires.
The game begins for the character at birth, in a world where the destiny of its people is already established by celestial deities called the Twin Gods. Without even being born you will make your first decision. Attempting to relay how the story develops in its entirety is a complicated excise. Especially for a game designed not to be linear. However, its core path is centered on three main aspects: the nobles, the clerical order, and the commoners.
Nobles are the ruling elite; the people in charge of governing and leading the rest of society. These in turn are divided into two sub-types: the Nobles of the Mante and the Nobles of the Sword. The main difference between the two being that the former achieved their rank through reward. Either for great service rendered to the empire with the legion or as a public servant.
The latter inherited their nobility; from father to son. These individuals are the most eminent persons within the empire. The benefits of being part of this group include owning land and farms and occupying the highest positions in society. Roles that can only be granted by the provincial supervisor or the Emperor himself.
Next, we have the commoners, the lowest-ranking people in society. Those charged with performing the hardest and most menial work. At the service of the nobles. Enduring among many other things; insults, humiliation, and floggings. Those that show they possess the most sought-after skills and ability to study hard may one day gain the chance to obtain a promotion to Nobility. To rise above the life that destiny first assigned them. Not every commoner can take this opportunity and make the step up. It will be up to you to change your character’s future prospects with the choices you make.
Finally, there are the priests of the Clerical Order. Experts in Theology that preach with an excellent level of speech and the conviction to influence others. They are governed by the principles of the Twin Gods in all they do. At least that is the established order of things. They love nothing more than to devour (read) the knowledge offered by books in order to increase their extensive knowledge in all matters. There are two sects of Clerical Order: the Old Faith and the New Faith. The second is led by two bishops: Luke “The Patriarch of Arknia” and Junius Diamant who belongs to the great Arknian dynasty. However, in order to become priests, they will have to give up all titles and family inheritance in order to serve the Twin Gods wholeheartedly.
The narrative in “The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante“ is surprisingly good. With the developer delivering an exceptional product. The game is very well written, with very clear and direct language. Even for people who do not have a high level of English. As long as they keep a dictionary close by, in order to translate any unknown words encountered within the game. The developers toiled to not overwhelm the reader with long and tiring texts; the pay-off being to tell us a story worthy of admiration.
One that is quite special compared to other games of the genre. Where every aspect has been carefully implemented to forge your character’s destiny, learning skills, develop relationships with your family, friends, and acquaintances. Each of which has an impactful effect within the game. It will be an experience full of drama, contempt, challenges, etc… But, in turn, you may be well received, appreciated, and admired by others.
The narrative in The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante is surprising
Graphics – Soundtrack
The game comes in the form of a tome with black and white graphics. Designed to possess a diary aesthetic where pages can be turned with each new scene experienced in the life of our character. Bookmarks divide numerous sections of the tome. Keeping relevant information compartmentalized. Headings include Destiny, Personality, House of Brante, Family, Relations, Map of the Empire, The province, etc.
The design of the game world resembles Medieval Europe from our own history. In addition, era-relevant sound effects with chord-like tones, enhance the ambience when a portion of the screen is clicked upon. Examples such as flagellation blows, blood splatter, bells, and others contribute to the reader’s immersion. Which to be honest is not as important as the unfolding story. As long as that leaves us hooked that’s what matters most to us, in this type of game.
I have to admit that this is my first experience of playing anything from this genre. I think it left a good taste in my mouth. I was immensely hooked by the story. A reasonable knowledge of English is necessary due to the amount of reading. As the only language alternative is Russian. I highly recommend the game if you are a person who likes to read. If you do not then this game is certainly not for you. I think it might even have the potential to be a very well-structured book. Hopefully, we can see more developers make promising games of a similar nature to this, in the future.