Greater than the some of it's parts.
When MGS4 was released I knew I wanted to play it but wouldn't be able to because I don't have the money to buy a PS3 so I decided to play through MGS1 since that's the only one I haven't played through.
I liked the game a lot. It was better than 2 but nowhere close to 3. Back in 1997 the story was the main attraction and that's one of the problems. I know that MGS games are very story centric but you gotta have some gameplay or else it's not a game. If you were to skip all the cutscenes and codec calls you would probably finish the game in about 3 and a half hours. Being a Metal Gear fan I already knew most of the story twists and surprises but the short-term story stuff was interesting.
The gameplay reminded me alot of MGS2 and now I realize that the core gameplay didn't change much until MGS3. But this is not a bad thing the stealth action is fun and exciting. The intenseness of waiting for a guard to pass by and not even know you're there is still fun as ever. There are some sections in this game that are truly memorable and outside the box such as the fight with Psycho Mantis and the temperature sensitive key cards these parts really stand out.
While there isn't as much gameplay as an average game, the total package is still great overall.