This game is a lot of fun, and has Australian servers! (I couldn't play titanfall because it kept making me want to play this game)
Yes this game is F2P which normally means it's Pay 2 Win. But honestly I was amazed at how little (or none) advantage you get from the upgrades. The only thing that's worth paying for is different mechs as they use different weapons, and if you want to use a different type of weapon, you'll need to fork out to get a different mech, or play the game a stupid amount of hours to earn enough ingame money. (If you want different mechs, or want every thing this game can possibly offer not including skins, buy a bundle, you'll pay once like any other game and have all you want, except skins...)
The default mech you recieve for free is perfectly balanced with the other 'medium sized' mechs, there is 3 sizes, light medium and large, all play together and all are supposed to be 'equal' they mostely are but it really depends on how you use them. There is a higher learning curve on the smaller mechs as you have to really make full use of your small agility boost or you'll die in 2 hits, larger mechs allow beginners to be a bit more lazy, especially if you find someone to repair you.
If you're a first time player, or not in a light mech make sure you always hang around your team mates! :) or prepare to be frustrated :(