I've played a few rounds over the past week or so and I don't think Ghost Reconnaissance: Phantom Pain suffers too much from the pay to play model. Should my patience hold up, I've been able to do plenty of damage with basic weaponry and armor. The game still has absurd features like armor repair and having to buy grenades with in-game currency, but they're not overly offensive.
My biggest issue with the game, sans my prehistoric internet connection, is the map design. The game seems to adore its bottlenecks and one map in particular, called "Metro," starts the fighting in what amounts to a corridor with some pillars to hide behind. In a game that seems to thrive when one team can out maneuver the other, starting off a game in a bottleneck makes it a game of patience over tactics. I'm not a game designer and I don't claim to be a clever man, but it seems like starting with an open space and narrowing the map from there seems like it would make for a better paced competitive experience. I enjoy a game for the most part, though.
I have yet to see the full extent the game has to offer and have only been able to play on two different maps, so my complaints could easily be void when the matchmaking gives me something different.