I have played Fallout 3 for thirty-two hours, according to my play clock, obviously not counting reloaded saves, etc.
My character is level 15 (out of 20), and I only just completed the GNR.
I have still yet to explore the entire northern/northeastern section of the map, I’m not even done exploring the southern areas.
At this rate I am going to hit the level cap long before I get around to finishing up the main quest (which I hear flat-out ends the game, so I’m avoiding it for now).
I’m starting to question whether I should even bother attempting to experience the entire thing in one game. I don’t think the game was designed that way, and that makes sense… none of the previous Fallouts were designed that way either.
I’m worried about the possibility of boredom setting in once I no longer have any avenues to advance my character. Perhaps I should hit level 20, finish the game, and then start a new character with which to explore the other, new areas.