(wtf, replace asterisks with game informer)
Zero's skills are interesting. Not sure how well the melee stuff will work. They obviously tried and failed to make melee useful with Brick in 1. Zero has a sword which could be cool. But ultimately the problem is: who the hell wants to melee in a game with 8 bazillion guns?
Re: co-op - in 1 there was really no need for teamwork. Get good guns, spread out, use a moderate amount of cover. That's all you usually ever needed. (I'm not complaining, it was still hugely satisfying.) Definitely sounds like they're trying to make it more strategic this time. If the AI is indeed improved, this could be a nice step up in co-op gameplay. But this also means they better fix the voip (on ps3 anyway, where it was terrible. Not sure how it was on pc or xbox).
PhaseLOCK sounds pretty cool. I never liked phaseWALK.
As intriguing as parts of all the other three characters sound, it's going to be hard not to start with Axton(Roland) because I love the turret so much and it sounds even better now.
I had no problem with how the missions worked in 1, but I suppose this doesn't hurt:
SK: Quest eligibility issues have all been fixed. You're eligible for any quest that your friend has. If you join my game, and Iím on the last mission of the game, you can still do it with me.