I maintain that if you use such strong characters it's extremely difficult for a player to identify with them. So we've deliberately taken the personality out of the protagonists so you can play as 'yourself' in Lost Planet 2.
I disagree with this. I intensely dislike when the main character does not speak in games and has no defining characters in order to allow you to "project yourself onto them". It's bullshit. I don't like it in Zelda (although the story is pretty minimal there anyway), I don't like it in Half-Life, and I don't like it in Fallout.
I think there's still a place for the distantly-characterized and non-speaker characters like Claude Speed or Gordan Freeman but it's a fine line in story telling. It worked in GTA3 because Claude was a guy who did the job, got paid and that was it. No bullshit. It added to the 'hard man' vibe I think where he'd be murdering all these people for money and not say a word. Psychotic you might say.
It works in Half Life because it really is 'you' in the game more or less because when characters speak to you, they look directly at you and the animations of their engagement and then reacting and looking in your direction still as you're bouncing around the room really puts 'you' in the game.
It doesn't work in things like Dead Space. In that scene where you have to fend of Isaac Clark's girlfriend as she types in a door code for you, Isaac should have been screaming his head off saying 'I'll save you' or something to that effect. Even when they meet, he doesn't say anything like, are you ok or oh thank god you're safe I love you. It's incredibly awkward to sit through.
In relation to Lost Planet 2, as it's a big co-op game, story usually takes a back seat where gameplay and tactics between your friends and the AI is the selling point. When I played through Halo 3 in 4-player co-op, I had no idea what was going on, no care for the characters (I don't really remember any) but I had fun shooting aliens. As co-op is relatively young in its relationship with story, it's safer for Takeuchi to take the direction he did than carry over 'fleshed out characters' that you're not going to pay attention to anyway.
It'll be a different industry by the time we're all playing games where your friend says over the headset, "Oi shut up I want to hear what this character's saying".