that's true it doesn't really have that. BUT, you can buy multiple houses/apartments and fill it up with stuff you find. Display your unique armour on mannequins, display cool weapons on weapon racks. And certain quests unlock more crafting recipes. Like the quest in Akila with the Ashta, unlocks a mounted Ashta head for your houses and outposts.And the best aspect of Bethesda games is the feeling of a living world that you can explore and dive in and find stuff.
(edit: Ah I misread you as "living in a world", yeah, the world doesn't feel like a living world like in the previous games, really. NPCs are static and locations disjointed. But the random encounters that you get during space travel kind of make up for that. There is always something going on. Even during ground exploration you can encounter random events. Yesterday as I exited a cave, an NPC spawned outside who said he was taking pictures of the area, and recommended me another location that got updated on my map.)
There is also a fair bit to explore in the cities and hand-crafted locations. I would say it will take you at least 50 hours to explore all the hand-crafted content. You have:
- New Atlantis
- The Den
- Red Mile
- The Clinic
These are just the ones that I know of off the top of my head. Many hours can be spent exploring these hand-crafted locations and they have many quests that send you to other hand-crafted locations/dungeons. Overall I think there is a lot of hand-crafted content to explore BUT it has no "wilderness" to explore like in previous games. Everything is just within the cities/outposts and then take quests that send you to specific locations. It's not amazing, but it's there.
If you've ever played Planescape: Torment I think it's similar. In that game most of your exploration happens in a city too (Sigil). Daggerfall might've been like that too but I can't remember because I hated the labyrinthine dungeons and never played it much.