You get close to the full game with this rule set. Yes, you only have the four iconic classes and races, and a much smaller selection of spells. However, you can actually play D&D for free with this. If you're new to D&D or role playing games in general, you have nothing to lose by downloading these from the Wizard's of the Coast website and start playing. Don't wait. Just go do it already.
It's free. It covers the basics of Dungeons & Dragons, enough to get a group of people playing and understanding the rules with the least amount of effort. It is, simply put, a gateway drug to the full books, which simply add MORE variety without getting lost in the fun. Get it and you'll be on your way to slaying orcs and mind flayers in no time. Well, maybe not mind flayers. Not just yet at least.
Overall, this is a free product that provides excellent content to anyone that wants to play D&D. This is fantastic for the growth of our hobby.But, the file could be reshaped to be less like a PH without images and more like an intro for new players. On Twitter it has been said by WotC that they intend to do that over time. If they can do that it will be an incredible offering.
The core rules are well thought out, and thoroughly tested. They do appear to have cherry picked from previous editions. Early edition feel with learnings from decades of play. Find out is you want this to be your game system for free. We find it fast and easy to play.