I’ll start by saying that I started playing this game since it launch and it wasn't on Steam, so the amount of hours I've put into it is sadly more than you can see. Also I am an Legendary/All Access member, so I have no restrictions in this game that you as a F2P player might encounter. I leveled a F2P character to the maximum achievable point, and I can tell that the only restriction that you will feel is the character slot limit (if you want to try all mentors and powers) and 1500 cash limit (you are allowed to carry only this amount with yourself, if you go over 1500 it will just go to the escrow and you won't be able to access it, only by paying). You can invest 5$ and some of the restrictions will get lighter, but the maximum amount of cash will be 2000, and believe me, you won't really feel it.
I once wrote loving review for this game, it was in 2012. Time is moving forward and yet the game does not. There was once a great amount of charm around this game, the road from 1 to max level was fast and colorful, and it was all based on quests. Yes, quests, filled with brilliant voice work and actually building up to the idea that Justice League will accept you as their member. Although there was a part of me that didn't really like this idea of levelling like a sidekick (after City of Heroes and Champions Online), but I was intrigued by the idea of what will open when you actually become a member. And then, after reaching max level, the problems started.
Let’s talk about the endgame structure. After reaching level 30 you get introduced to a new vertical levelling system – Combat Rating(CR). All the endgame content is divided into Tiers, and each tier requires a certain amount of CR. Each tier consists of a few Challenges (Solo missions), Duos (2-man content), Alerts (4-man content) and Raids (8-man content). From each of this activities you get random loot drops (once a day) and a certain amount of currency that you can use to buy better gear. The better the gear -> the higher the CR -> the higher the tier that is available to you.
So, let us continue. With introduction of new Raids and Alerts, the story still treated you like a sidekick. But that isn't really a problem. The problem was, that there wasn't an actual story behind any new content. Yes there are few Investigations/Briefings(game's variant of Data Logs), a few cutscenes and an "epic premise" behind the scenes, which you don't have an ability to enjoy. In all the modes you get a little glimpse at something epic. And that's it. They did try to implement daily story missions in some DLC's but the last fun ones were in "Home Turf", since then it was only getting more boring.
Now remember that to get further in that little story, you need to have an appropriate CR. But until reaching the needed CR to open a new tier of content and some development on the story, you're just replaying the same few alerts over and over, grinding as if you're in an Asian MMO (which are changing to the best lately). Without any variation. Until you reach a new tier you are just replaying the same few activities. And the sad part is, that they reuse the same content in every new DLC, you will see instances that were there even from the launch of the game. And every new zone that they actually create in the latest DLCs are suffering from a copy paste syndrome, where the starting zone is something new, but when you walk a few meters all you get is catacombs with one repeating section. I've heard an argument that maybe they do this so that PS3 will run it without problems, but come on, Defiance on X360 has more variety.
And that is the main point, comics are all about the story and characters, so was this game (from 1-30 levels). But in the end the focus shifted and instead of creating and implementing new campaigns, they create a few grind arenas. And after you reach that maximum CR there is nothing to do, except maybe feats that grant you some Skill Points, but you will need to replay the same content that you will probably hate.
One thing that you can actually praise the development team for is balancing and patching. Although this praise can be nullified, because when you see their live stream where, after this many years, they are proud that some Bosses are no longer turning instantly, but they do take their time, it is just preposterous. But they do balance the powers towards each other, although instead of creating different instances of your power in PVE and PVP, they meshed it up and occasionally PVP players will cry about something, which will lead to PVE nerf for that power and brake someone’s style of playing.
All in all, I do hope, that they will get back to their roots of creating stories and original content. Now that SOE has become somewhat independent, it can lead to great things or turning the money into a complete cash-grabber.
If you are interested in this game, don’t invest money. Just play the game from 1 to 30, after that there is absolutely nothing, that is worth your time. Although, if you really like DC Comics, grinding, praying to RNG and story isn’t that important for you then go for it ^_^. If for you story is a must and you want to feel involved in DC Universe, then just go from 1 to 30 and forget about this game. Your time and money can be spent better. To everyone else, who don't look for Superhero MMO and DC Comics, I cannot recommend this game.