Review – The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but one of my favorite games I’ve played in recent memory is a borderline visual novel with practically no action, animations, or voice acting. The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante is one of the most compelling games released in years, delivering one hell of a story in a way that you are the one in charge of the plot and all of its outcomes. The fact it basically revolves around reading lines of text and choosing between a few options to move along might sound a bit boring for some, but I’ll try my best to convince you why you should give this game a go.

Sir Brante Lot

Sir Brante didn’t grow up in a hippie household.

This game is basically a narration of the entire life of the titular Sir Brante (you can give whichever first name you choose), the son of a nobleman and a commoner. Due to the nature of his heritage and the world around him, he initially lives his life as a commoner. His “role in life”, called a Lot in here, is to endure suffering in order to ascend to the afterlife, which is factual and proven in this game. However, given his access to noble relatives and a steady financial upbringing, he can study to eventually become a Noble by the Mantle, effectively a commoner who has risen to the ranks of nobleman out of merit.

That’s not all: you can relinquish living by these sociopolitical standards and attempt to defy this world’s status quo. You can also choose to pursue a few other career options as well, which will all depend on how you live your life as a kid, teenager, and young adult. Simply put, the life choices, friends, relationships and overall harsh decisions you make as a little one might actually impact your entire life later on, in a way very few story-driven games, be them RPGs or visual novels, could only dream of.

Sir Brante Leaving Home

Find out in the next episode of Drago… I mean, The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante!

There’s more to this incredibly compelling world than just a religious status quo. Magic exists in this world and so does resurrection. People can die up to three “minor deaths” before actually dying a true death that will take their soul to the afterlife. Humans aren’t the only “race” in this world, with a more noble and magically-attuned race of humanoids, called Arknians, reigning over the entire Empire, looking at humanity as if they were an underdeveloped species. Finally, there’s a lot of social tension revolving around the ire of the peasantry, the overall strength of the church, and the stability of the empire.

This is the background given to you while you choose what path Sir Brante will take in his life. The rest is pretty much up to you. You will literally live through every single year of Sir Brante’s life, with a handful of events ensuing in each year. These outcomes will add or remove points from Brante’s personality traits (think of them as the more esoteric RPG stats also featured in Disco Elysium), as well as his relationship with family and friends. The older Brante gets, the more stats and meters are unlocked, such as his job security, family reputation, allegiance to the crown (or lack thereof), and much more.

What a posh way of saying, “I can get wasted whenever I want to”.

This might sound basic, but it’s all backed by truly phenomenal writing and truly impactful choices whenever you reach a “branching path” in your story. Characters are layered and compelling: friends are trustworthy and charismatic, while “villains” are vile and disgusting. However, they are usually richer and more powerful than you, forcing you to think twice before starting a fight with any of them. The game features countless outcomes for your character, making The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante one of the very few story-driven games, as well as visual novels in general, that will make you want to replay as soon as you finish your first playthrough.

The game also doesn’t disappoint with its graphics and sound design. Better yet, it doesn’t disappoint given the limitations of a text-based adventure game like this one. It’s almost completely devoid of animations and voice acting (which is a shame, as what little is featured in here is excellent). Although, it does feature a decent art style, with well-designed character portraits, and a surprisingly extensive soundtrack comprised of medieval-influenced, Witcher 3-esque songs which fit perfectly with whatever is going on with the plot at any given moment.

Octavia Milanidas


Playing The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante is equal parts writing your own best-selling medieval drama and experiencing a modern rendition of a classic text-based RPG. It gives you the right amount of audio and visual incentives to let you fantasize its fantastic story in your head. I cannot think of any other text-based game that made me want to go for another playthrough with completely different outcomes as soon as I had finished my first one. This might not be the most visually compelling or action-heavy game released in recent memory, but it’s easily one of my favorite games in 2021 so far.


Graphics: 7.0

It’s static as a book, with little to no animations and a constantly repetitive background, but the game’s art style is striking and unique.

Gameplay: 9.0

It’s all about choosing between a handful of difficult options in order to write your character’s legacy. It’s surprisingly well-written and each choice you make actually feels impactful.

Sound: 8.0

A surprising amount of medieval-influenced songs that fit perfectly with whatever is going on with the plot at any given moment. I just wanted more voice acting, as the sole cutscene featuring it in the beginning of the game was excellent.

Fun Factor: 10

It might be a visual novel, but few video game worlds and plots have managed to captivate me like the one from The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante. I even started a second playthrough just to experience different outcomes.

Final Verdict: 9.0

The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante is available now on PC.

Reviewed on PC.

A copy of The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante was provided by the publisher.