The reason why I love Fable III so much may be fairly obvious already. While I appreciate the comedic themes throughout the story and the allusions to the previous two Fable games, the thing I like the most about Fable III is the fact that you can choose to be a strong, independent woman. The female Hero can be dainty and elegant (a spell caster who prefers dresses, maybe) or strong and aggressive (a melee fighter who likes armor). Either way, she’s exactly the way you make her, which I think is a revolutionary concept. The level of customization in this game is absolutely superb.
While Microsoft Game Studios gives you an introductory story of a girl who’s under the control of her brother and almost forced into a hetero-normative relationship with Eliot, she has the chance to break away from the oppression and become a true Hero. She’s the leader that Albion has been waiting for; the Queen that can rule better and far more justly than her evil brother. So, after she comes to her senses, when her brother forces her to choose between Eliot’s life and the life of innocent townspeople, she escapes her own prison and sets out to overthrow King Logan.
While I know this is the same storyline for the male Hero, it is important that the female Hero’s storyline was not altered simply because she’s female. She’s a complete badass who is totally capable of overthrowing Logan and becoming the Hero of Albion. She has all the same choices as the male Hero and it totally fits. And the best part is that she’s not exactly the same as the male Hero, but with breasts. You see too much of the media trying to push the feminist ideal as women who act like men, when it’s not. The female Hero in Fable III can act like a man, sure, but that’s completely up to you, which is what feminism is really about. It’s okay to act really feminine. It’s okay to act masculine. It’s okay to act however you want to, as long as it’s your choice.
While I usually always choose to be with Eliot once I’m in the castle, I like the fact that you can choose to break that hetero-normative cycle. If I want my Hero to be a lesbian, she totally can be! I think it’s important to have that option. It teaches the people playing the game that this lifestyle is not a bad thing, and thus promotes love. I think it’s awesome that one of my best friends always plays as a gay man, every single time. Well… except for the one time that he had his character marry mine for the Xbox Live Achievement. He cheated on me with Eliot, though…
My point is that this video game doesn’t force you to play in one constrictive male-dominated storyline. Sure, we’re all completing the same tasks and dealing with a lot of the same people, but we’re all making different choices and ending up with different outcomes. While playing any other video game over and over may seem repetitive, I could play Fable III a million times and continue to be amused and delighted by it. Until I find another game with this much customization and freedom with my female character, I think it’s safe to say that Fable III is and will remain my favorite video game.
-Vanri the Rogue
2 thoughts on “A Feminist Review of Fable III”
Yes! I managed to spend like 8 hours playing that game a few weeks ago when I was out for the holidays. I enjoyed being able to play the woman’s part but swing an axe if I wanted. 😉
Fable III is great. It is nice that it gives you the option to play the kind of story you want for your character.