You must probably be thinking...why review such an old game? People don't play old games anymore.
Well, people should. Gorky 17 is a really good game. You play as a team dispatched to Russia to find out what happened there. However, when you get there, you notice ultimate chaos and destruction, along with what was called - mutants. People have transformed into creepy looking killing monsters. Your mission is to find out what happened, who did that and find the previous team that was also dispatched. I can't say much more about the story, or I'll spoil it.
Your starter team has 3 soldiers, each with his own voice/appearance and strengths/weakness. As soon as you gain control of your characters, you can explore the beautiful detailed map. On certain locations, you face an encounter and enter the battle screen.
Now, the battle system is pretty similar to the one from Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre. The map is like a huge chess board and each character can move up to a certain number of squares. Unlike those games, there isn't a speed asset - there is instead the enemy turn and your turn. Your character can have a good amount of weapons and healing items. You can use riffles and pistols, shotguns and Uzis. You can also use melee weapons like axes or bats or knives, as well as special weapons that cause status ailments, like the dart shooter (paralyzes enemy, looses one turn), or the liquid-thrower (freezes enemy, looses one turn, looses more HP) and many more. Both your characters and the enemy have HP (Hit Points) and if any of your characters reaches 0 HP, it's game over for you.
As you kill mutants, you gain experience. After gaining enough experience you level up and gain up to 5 points which you can use to improve your characters status. You can use them to increase HP or accuracy or even luck. You can also use them to increase some other status like calmness that I never really understood what were there for so...
Throughout the game you will encounter numerous rich cut-scenes followed by hard bosses fights that will probably make you restart the game at least once.
However, the game also has some flaws: pistols can only shoot in a vertical or horizontal line from the characters position and rifles on a diagonal. This was obviously made to better differ the weapons but it doesn't really make sense.
Another major flaw is the time it takes to complete the game. If you have mastered the game you will finish it in 3 hours or so. What makes it longer is the constant loading because of the difficulty of the encounters. When you are finally getting a hang of the story and totally immersed in the combat system, the game bails on you and ends. Pretty sad actually. There is also no option to choose a difficulty at the game start, which could have added replay value.
Still, the worst impression it gave me, after completing it, is that it was unfinished. The story ends abruptly and you spend a lot of time customizing your characters for nothing because they game ends way too quickly.
In any case, just get out there and try to find a copy of Gorky 17. It's well worth it.
With excellent graphics (for 1999), excellent sound effects, rich story (though rushed), great gameplay and price but very little replay value, I consider Gorky 17 to be very good.
EDIT: GORKY 17 HAS HAD TO SEQUELS BUT THEY WERE NOTHING LIKE IT. NOW A REAL SEQUEL CALLED 'GORKY 21' IS ON THE WAY. DON'T MISS IT!