I don't know if this helps or not, but there's a minor distinction that might be made regarding characters and ships.
It's correct (as far as we know) that there are no visible, walking avatars of people in Limit Theory. In this sense, you are your ship.
But characters do exist, even if they're never rendered visibly. Individual NPCs exist, each of them with their own personalities with the following personality model that Josh showed in Development Video Update #20:A
(I would tweak some of these
, personally, but they're what Josh showed.)
Josh has also mentioned implementing a light version of crew on larger ships. So it's not just one ship == one person; there's apparently a simple form of crew management in the default game. (Or at least that was mentioned; we won't know for sure until Josh releases a version of LT.)
I don't know if that's enough distinctiveness for people to meet your needs. But LT is more than just robot spaceships, even if that's how it might appear from the videos. There really are characters in the world.