Text based games featuring no sounds, no music and no graphics aren't as common as they once were. Games that don't just capture your imagination but run off with it are all but a thing of the past. Pendragon Rising hopes to enthrall you with the tale of being the illegitimate child of the current leader of the Britons. Playing as Arthur or Arta, your choices change the direction the story takes. By itself, even choosing your gender influences the story by gender swapping the rest of the cast. Play as a male and the story will be at least slightly familiar, with men taking on the roles of warriors and fighters. But if you play as a female you will find most of the names have been changed and pronouns swapped. Women are now the warriors. The first chapter alone sees you slowly work toward claiming your right as heir, and depending on how you play this, it can be either deliberately, accidentally, reluctantly. Of course your half-brother (or sister, if playing female) will try to prove themselves your better at every opportunity, and you can either try to ignore the aggression or throw it right back and be more assertive in your rise to become the new Pendragon.
Other scenarios will see you trying to make allies of the other kingdoms. You can ether end up with a sizable army for a crucial battle or find yourself with very few friends and things will be a lot harder to go your way. Your faith itself can affect the story: do you play your hero to be true to the faith of the Britons, or has he/she accepted the new roman faith of Christianity? There are moments of the game dealing with magic and mystery, and the faith element can change how things come across; you may find something you thought magic to be mundane, or perhaps your lack of faith doesn't reveal a path to you, so you seek an alternate route.
The rest of your choices will be much harder, as you start off with no real allies and not very liked, so your challenge in the early chapters is to prove yourself. Can you be capable of leading a war band? Will you be compassionate or ruthless? Your options may make you cunning, or you can act with more bravado. The game keeps track of these ever changing stats in a separate screen. What this means is actions may have a different outcome if you act suddenly against character, or you may not even have certain choices available. Choices can also effect later decisions down the line, like if you have a certain item you may be able to sell it for gold at a crucial moment. But if you let someone else have it, then send them away, that option won't be available.
Getting immersed in the story is easy, making it to the end is a little harder. If you manage to reach an early end, the game may hint at other events if you had chosen differently, like when it hinted to me I may not have died during a battle and went on to encounter Merlin. You can never be too sure which choices will lead to what, other than trail and error, making it best to put yourself in the perspective of the character and imagine what would you do. You captured a powerful enemy, do you kill him and his allies, let them all go, or let just the soldiers go and keep the main one? Other events are simply asking who will you talk to during a certain time. Romance can spring up, and your gender does not limit your options. The story itself is very well written, though some will note the tone of language is more modern rather than reflecting the dialect of the times for the most part