Consider this. Strip away the antagonists, the job roles, the rank and the occasional admin events. What you are left with is, at its core, a very large space sandbox.
Compare with minecraft, similar in regards of your capability to take anything in sight, build it, break it, fight with it. One could say you could do anything within reason,
but then the best part of the game comes from the very unreasonable things its engine will allow you to do.
Now, slowly start to add things back in. You've set job statuses, slowly building purpose to the vivid creation that our setting consists of. No longer is it just a large, pretty thing to expand, but now it serves a gameplay purpose.
People have tasks, people gain the ability to create and perform all sorts of actions within their role.
And the roles are plentiful, allowing for a wide variety of different actions to be going on at one time, and mesh together into one functioning hive of participants.
Filter back in the Antagonists. From once a peaceful utopia, now you have subtle strife.
Not only a frustration vent and free pass to occasionally use the game's vastness in malicious ways, the foes add drama to an otherwise utopian world.
It adds fear, paranoia, and the thought that at any time the perfect station could fall into chaos.
And it adds an ability for everyone in their unique roles to handle problems differently, and bind together to overcome an ever-changing threat.
But perhaps what makes this setting truly perfect, is the lack of permanence. It is like the boulder rolling down the hill,
allowing one to enjoy the climb to the top and coming back down for another. You take on more than you can chew, you perish,
and the world reverts back to square one for you to try again. The world breaks, fixes itself, and brings itself back to its original setting for players to work again.
It gives the opportunity to try new things without the sheer time investment other games require, and rewards failure with a clean start to do things better the next time around.
This isn't just a game. This is a space opera, actors stage and plot. Watch it unfold, see the buildup of drama, and its exciting ups and downs.
Then watch it again with new actors and themes. It is something truly lacking in the current age of gaming; a truly self-sufficient game that needs no campaign to create its stories.