Feels like a fun beta. It needs more content and better accessibility. The lack of a 'real' persistent world is weak.
I have played this through to max skill level (30) and enjoyed much of my time in the game.
The game is reasonably balanced in pvp right off the bat in regards to weapon load outs and the ability to impact a match for a win. You realize this because once you max out your first character and start a new one at level 5, then you realize the previous issues you had at low level was not your character's fault but you not knowing how to play the game. You should suspect this anyway, especially from a game with unique pacing... this is *not* MW2 where you can jump in like any other fps and do well.
This speaks well to the depth of the pvp. It is genuinely fun. The reviewers lament of combat being 'twitch based' seems indicative of him missing the whole point of the game. He also seemed to miss the required first two points in the balance tree to make the jet pack useful... which is as much the fault of the game as the reviewer.
I have played AvA and I can say that I will not be playing it in its current incarnation. I just cannot see myself getting into fighting over a 2d map. It does nothing for me. I want to be able to walk around in the persistent world I just fought over. This is a sugar glazed version of mercenary pvp.
Having said that, the vehicle crafting system of ava is pretty cool but inaccessible and it misses the whole point of a MMO:
MMOs work when you can hang around in a persistent environment and hang your epeen out for everyone else to ogle. This game has no semblance of that.
I will enjoy it as a glorified sci-fi version of MW2. AvA will have to go through major changes before they can get anything out of me on a monthly basis.
PvE can be fun with a good group at higher difficulty settings, but lacks varied content.