The gameplay is rather fun. When you can actually play. Several issues make this difficult, some part of the game and others the players.
There are three game types, though two are rather similar. Capture the Batteries and Plant the Bomb are games designed on moving something from your base to theirs or the other way around. Capture the Batteries has you go to their base to claim one of two batteries to return it to your base. Only one battery spawns at a time and capturing has no regard for where your own are. Plant the Bomb has you take a bomb to their base and put it on their totem. You defend the bomb until it explodes or you go back to your own base to disarm a bomb if they have planted.
I would have no issues with these two types of games if nearly every one I've played didn't end up being about the third game type. For those types of games there should be respawns and it shouldn't end until those objectives are finished. Instead it comes down to who can blow away the other team first. Destroy the other Team is the third type of game and it's how all games seem to play out.
Why would we bother doing complicated battery and bomb objectives if destroying them works just as well? Beyond that issue is the reward system for playing games. You get the same random rewards for winning or losing. I've often gotten better rewards from losing a match then winning.
There is a repair and ammo replacement system that costs in-game currency. This would actually be a concern if each match didn't make enough coin to pay for both every time. I don't see a point to these systems if even a lost game gives enough money to deal with it. All this does is govern your profit from a game, which is rather random anyway.
The queue system is another problem. I can no longer count how often I have been put in a group with or matched against someone far below my robot level. A one or two level difference isn't really enough to notice but when I'm 5 and they are 1 it becomes the difference of me shooting once or ten times for a kill. It seems to be a practice for level 4 and 5 robots to group with level 1 robots, forcing them into matches one or the other shouldn't be in.
In match group balancing seems to be firstly priortized by robot level (which is good) and secondly by personal level (which is bad). This comes up often. If four level 5 robots are queued then it makes a match of 2v2. It will then use the levels of the people to balance the teams. Personal levels determine, without spending the real money sparks on, what parts you can upgrade to which point. So in that instance it makes sense. But then we get a match with four level 5 robots and two level 3 robots. It will make a full group of the level 5 robots and put the others together because the personal levels of the level 3 robots is higher then some of the level 5 robots. With some variation of individual part levels, this puts a heavy toll on the lower level group.
Upgrading parts changes your robot level. A level 1 robot will generally have all level 1 parts. You can have higher level parts and still be a lower level if you don't upgrade some parts or even take off some. So I can go into a level 1 match with my mostly all level 6 parts simply by dropping most of my guns and special ability parts. Even at one gun of two or of four, that level difference is enough to blow them away. This seems to be a common problem with leveled games and I don't really have a fix for it.
The speed at which I upgraded didn't feel that slow or fast. I played matches to get upgrade parts and money and then the parts would upgrade while I was sleeping. Building new parts and the robot as a whole seemed easy enough. You have a build platform that you simply start slapping parts on. There is a blue transparent version of the part to help guide you. You can even upgrade a part as you are using it, leaving less need to stop playing just to wait on one part.
You start with a basic robot and a slot for a second robot. Additional slots can be purchased with Sparks (real money). Now while you have room for two robots you do not start with enough inventory space for all those parts. You can build one robot, the one you start with, and that's it. Buying more inventory room starts at a simple 10 sparks, somthing that you start with. This gives you enough space to either upgrade your robot or get a few off parts. The next space buy is 85. After that it's 160(unsure of the exact number only that it was way up there). For a game that talks so much on customizability this is horrible.
In it's entirety I would not conclude that this game is pay to win. However, some elements are in the game that certainly make it headed in that direction. The better crates you can get either with Sparks or by chance after matches contain arm peices that allow two or three weapons to be attached to them. It is horribly expensive to get these as it is only a chance to get them per crate, but it is still there. They can certainly claim it is possible to open these crates with the coin bought crate openers but at a 0.01% chance to open there is little point.
From what I could find the only thing that is ONLY purchasable by Sparks are the paint colors used to customize your robot. You start with a few blah colors and can buy more at outragous prices PER color.
I wouldn't say this game is unplayable by any means. But there is a lot that needs to be done to make it a fun and stable environment. Everything from the basic robot construction to Spark purchases needs to be reworked to allow for a smoother time in the game. I'm all for them making their money but it is currently too spikey in prices.
In closing I will add this one tip: To detach a single part from your robot be in build mode and click the part so it is highlighted then click the detach button below the robot. To do this to the ability parts you will need to rotate the camera to see them and then do as the other parts.