I am relatively new to the franchise, buying the trilogy 2 months ago and finishing MGS3 the day before MGS4's release. (By the way, 3 doesn't get enough credit liked it more than 2).
I must admit, this game lives up to the hype. I am very satisfied that I decided to play the other 3 before sinking my teeth into this masterpiece since the story line is fresh in memory. I recommend anyone new to the series to do the same.
No stone is left unturned with this one, the cut scenes are fluid with the game play and its feel and play hooks you in. You just don't want to put this one down!