‘Fallout 3′ Loses Some Luster After Level 20

Fifty hours into “Fallout 3,” my interest is finally starting to wear thin.

I want to keep exploring, but I’ve reached the game’s level cap.

Combat is a central part of “Fallout 3,” and while combat becomes easier and easier as you go on, once you reach level 20, it’s less than irrelevant: it’s just plain boring.

You could easily spend over 100 hours exploring everything in the world of “Fallout 3″ because there’s just so much to discover. But since “Fallout 3″ is such a dangerous place, there are enemies all over the place, too. The lack of any auto-aim when not using VATS means traditional combat is too frustrating.

If you look at the experience bar that shows up between loading screens, there are indications that Bethesda Softworks will raise the level cap eventually. I’ll end up playing long enough to check out the rest of the game’s locations — which should take about 10 hours, by my estimate — but I’ll be rushing through it, rather than taking my time.

If Bethesda allowed me to earn more specialized perks, it might make combat more compelling — something, anything to make me want to fight, rather than running away. Tracey John suggested switching to a new set of weapons.

Any other tips on how to keep “Fallout” lively after Level 20? No matter what, I’ll be spending more time in “Fallout 3.”

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