What every game of this kind should have is a create a player even if it would be race specific for certain settings. Saints Row does this brilliantly with your custom CAP actually performing in the cut scenes with whatever look it currently has equipped .
I think it would have sold more if it had better marketing. You'd be surprised how many gamers don't even know the game exists. Same with the other games you've listed. A lot of people don't know anything about Mirror's Edge, little alone what race the protagonist is the game is.