You do not fight the War in the North alone. You consistently have two other companions with you that balance out your abilities. Friends can drop in at drop out at any time over the network, or you can play split-screen cooperatively on your couch, and any experience and loot gained during that time carries over into your single-player game. Because your mission is dedicated to the eradication of bad guys in the north, your companions are never confused: they’re here to kill orcs and chew bubble gum. You’re a Fellowship, and you’re all 100 percent integral to the story.

Skyrim can be a lonely place. When you hire an A.I.-controlled companion they may chime in once in a while about your current circumstances, but their verbal input is erratic and their presence is arbitrary. You might as well completely ignore your friends list for a while, too, because they can’t contribute to your game unless it’s to pass spoilers on to one another over your headsets.