Awesome game with high replay value
Visually, the game isn't incredibly stunning. I don't really recall exactly what every single game looked like in 2002, but even today in 2008, at least to me, the game doesn't look good, rather, it looks decent or good enough. It's comparable to GTA:SA, where the game itself doesn't look as good as it technically could, but the gameplay makes up for it (at least for me it did) and you can clearly see what's going on at any given time.
The sounds and music tracks the game are fine, although a little bit generic, but generally pretty good. I had a lame "surround sound"-esque setup during the time that I was addicted to this game, and it really helped at times.
The controls take a LOT of getting used to, but are certainly worth learning in the long run. The gameplay was extremely smooth after learning the controls. At times, you'll certainly wonder why they chose certain buttons for certain things, but after you get used to it, it's just second nature and you don't have to think about it.
One thing that I have to add on is something that I found particularly fun. Due to how needlessly big some of the bases were, it was always a favorite past-time of mine, and others, to set up a base inside of the enemy's base. The usage of remote stations and turrets added a lot of strategy to the game, and was definitely a good move on the developer's part. Not only did it add strategy to the game, though, it added pointless and endless fun, which is something that a lot of more competitive games nowadays seem to lack. Sure, I can kill the guy with a million weapons after sneaking the giant and compelling level, but can I go off and do my own thing while having fun doing it? With T:AA, I definitely could.
The online portion of the game wasn't incredibly well made, and was even worse before AADS came out. The lack of a microphone (which I believe was unheard of at the time of release) really sucked, as well as the absence of any real way to communicate with your teammates. This was made up for with the discovery of a certain "trick" that allowed the player access to a large variety of things to say over the in-game chat. Outside of the generic taunts and orders, however, the only way to communicate was by changing your name. I actually remember joining a clan by getting a guy's AIM screen name through rejoining a server after changing my name several times.
The story is also something that was particularly bad about the game. It was there and it kinda-sorta did was it was supposed to, but all in all was a complete waste of time.
Time sucks. It really does. I remember being able to play this game for hours on end with a million different strategies against the enemy and having tons of fun doing it. Now, almost 6 years down the road, people have moved on to newer and more exciting things. Since this was a PS2 game with a cult following, after the release of the 360, PS3, and even tons of great PC games, the T:AA community has almost disappeared. In theory, I suppose it's still possible to set up a match with someone or even with a large group of people, but casual play is extremely limited. PC games with a cult following, such as the original Unreal Tournament, seem to have quite a few servers up and players on at any given time. Sadly, the PS2's T:AA is not the same.
I give the game a 3/5 because it was an incredibly great game for its time, but as time passed, the game itself got worse and worse with age. First it became a game that usually had 1 full server and a few private servers that aren't meant to be joined, then it turned into a game that has nothing more than a single empty server online. The game redeems itself, however, due to the fact that there is still a bit of an online Tribes:AA community, thus allowing the player to do his own sort of "match making" over the internet in order to schedule games and even tournaments. T:AA's golden days, however, are over.