Acion Half-Life is a modification (mod) for Half-Life which is based on the ideas in Action Quake 2. It attempts to recreate the experience in movies such as Face/Off, the Die Hard series and John Woo films. Rather than aiming to be fully realistic, it goes for "movie realism" - you can take a few bullets and keep on fighting, and you can fall off a small building and merely break your leg.

Game modes

There are several game modes, and I find Teamplay the most enjoyable -

  1. Deathmatch - You start with a sidearm, and the other weapons/special items are scattered around the map. There is only one of each weapon/special item - so if some guy's got the assault rifle and you want it, you're going to have to take his ass down to get it.
  2. Teamplay - At the start, you pick a sidearm, a main weapon, and a special item. When the game starts, you and your team are all in the same location. The teams then have to move out and destroy each other. Once you die, you have to wait until the next round to start again. The round ends when only one team is remaining.
  3. Last Man Standing - A bloody deathmatch where the last person alive is the winner. If you die, you have to wait until the next round to start again. Can be played with or without equipment.

New features

One of the most fun new features in Action Half-Life is the ability to perform "action moves" - these are basically long-range rolls/dives which you can use to avoid enemy fire or surprise them by rolling round a corner and blowing their face off with your handcannon.

Another new feature is bleeding. All wounds bleed and can kill you unless you bandage them - this takes time.

Action Half-Life also features lag compensation. This means if your target is in the crosshais when you hit fire, he will still be hit even if your lag means he's moved by the time your shot occurs. The result of this is people dying several seconds after you shoot.

All the weapons are new. In the sidearms category, you can be equipped with a magnum, desert eagle, colt 1911, beretta or colt SAA. You can also use both types of colt akimbo-style as your main weapon.

Other main weapons include a handcannon, assault rifle, shotgun, a semi-automatic sniper rifle, a 50cal sniper-rifle and a submachine gun.

Special items all give you a single special advantage over your opponents. Stealth slippers mask your footsteps, laser sight gives you a better aim but can reveal your position, frag grenade gives you a single, powerful grenade, bandolier lets you carry more, quick-draw holster lets you draw/reload a lot quicker.

Important information

The developers of Action Half-Life have officially declared that the shotgun is overpowered, and use of it is considered dishonourable at best, and grounds for banishment from a server at worst.

Camping is also considered bad.

Action Half-Life beta 5 also features a single player game - no new levels (except for a new "starting" level, and a new Xen level), as it's just the standard Half-Life levels played through with the AHL weapons/physics/damage model. There's also something called "adrenaline rush" that causes the game to go into slow motion, switch to a third person camera view, and ripples to appear after fired bullets, like in The Matrix. According to the manual, it can't be called bullet time because that's been copyrighted by Remedy Entertainment (you fuckers). You start at the beginning of the game with 99 of every type of weapon/ammo (99 knives, 99 grenades, 99 clips for each weapon, and 99 bullets/shells for weapons that take them), so it's a bit over-balanced at first. This evens up later on, as you come across groups of marines and gun turrets, who will kill you almost instantly (unless you can get at them one at a time). Don't even mention the female black ops.

Most weapons have the ability to penetrate somewhat through walls, letting you hit enemies without endangering yourself. This is useful in the single player when you come across pillboxes and gun turrets.

Reloading has also been modified slightly since beta 4, in that if there's at least one round left in the clip when you reload a weapon, it's left in the chamber and you get an extra bullet (two for akimbo weapons) to fire. Useful for weapons with small loadouts, like the desert eagle, but it obviously doesn't work on weapons like the revolvers or shotguns.

There's also bots to play against in multiplayer mode, but they're not much fun. They're far more accurate than you are, and team-mates will occasionly kill you because you're standing between them and an enemy.

There's five categories of weapons: handheld, pistols, akimbo pistols, "rifles" (including the sub-machinegun. I know...), and shotguns. The shotguns and rifles (plus the akimbo pistols in equipment-based games) are considered to be unique weapons, in that you can only carry one at a time, or two with the bandolier. You can also carry ten knives, four pistols (two in shoulder holsters, two in ankle holsters), one grenade, one special item, and two clips of ammo for each weapon.


  • Kung fu: Fists and feet, pretty much. While it's possible to kill someone with this, you're better off using the knife if you can.
  • Knife: A combat knife that can be thrown or used to slash. Thrown knives are almost usually lethal (about the same damage as a bullet from a rifle), but they're hard to aim. You can carry ten of these.


  • Beretta: Low damage, high firing rate, 15 round clip. Semi-auto/auto firing modes. Can be silenced, and will take a laser sight. No wall penetration.
  • Colt 1911: Medium damage, medium firing rate, 7 round clip. Semi-auto/auto firing modes. Can be silenced, and will take the laser sight.
  • Colt .45 SAA: Medium/high damage, medium firing rate, 6 round revolver (reloaded one bullet at a time). Secondary fire hits the hammer for faster shooting, at the cost of accuracy.
  • .50 Desert Eagle: High damage, slow firing rate, 7 round clip. Semi-auto/auto firing modes. Can take the laser sight. Heavy recoil, and slow even in full auto mode.
  • .44 Magnum: Very high damage, fairly slow firing rate, 6 round revolver (reloaded in one go, with a quickloader). Secondary fire works the same as the SAA. Can take the laser sight (makes a good sniping weapon).

Akimbo pistols

  • Akimbo Berettas: Same as the single Beretta, but less accurate and with twice as many rounds. Primary fire is full auto, secondary is semi-auto. Can be silenced.
  • Akimbo 1911s: Similar to the akimbo Berettas, but a smaller clip and more damage.
  • Akimbo SAAs: Powerful, but inaccurate. Takes a very long time to reload.


  • Sub-machinegun: Looks suspiciously like the MP5. Medium damage, high firing rate, 30 round clip. Can be set to single shot, 3-round burst, and full auto (very inaccurate). Can be silenced, and will take the laser sight.
  • Assault rifle: M4A1? High damage, medium firing rate, 30 round clip. Firing modes are similar to the sub-machinegun. Can take the laser sight.
  • Semi-auto sniper rifle: Very high damage, slow/medium firing rate, 5 round clip. The weapon's scope has three levels of zoom, and is very inaccurate unless zoomed in. Can be silenced.
  • Bolt-action sniper rifle: Extreme damage, slow firing rate, 6 round clip. Same as the other sniper rifle for zooming. Can be silenced.


  • Shotgun: Fairly standard pump action shotgun. Medium firing rate, medium damage, 5 rounds (reloaded one shell at time). Medium range.
  • Handcannon: Very short double barrel lever action shotgun, similar to the super shotgun from Quake (or, more accurately, Doom II). Can be fired either one barrel at a time (medium damage), or both at once (extreme damage). Reloading is done two shells at a time, fairly slowly. Useless past about five metres, but anything closer than that is dead.

You can only carry one special item at a time. They're either found scattered around the levels in normal multiplayer, or chosen at the menu in equipment-based matches.

  • Kevlar vest: Standard bulletproof vest. Can stop smaller fire, but the larger weapons and knives will go straight through it.
  • Bandolier: Lets you carry two unique weapons (but not any more pistols), as well as twice as much ammo as normal. Not to be confused with the kevlar vest.
  • Laser sight: Improves the accuracy of the weapon it's attached to, but the beam is fairly visible and will let enemies trace you to your location. Can be switched on/off, though.
  • Silencer: Supresses the firing noise and muzzle flash of a weapon. Some weapons, however, can't be used with it.
  • Stealth slippers: Silences your footsteps, allowing you to sneak up on enemies. Useful with weapons like the handcannon and knives.
  • Flashlight: Lets you see where you're going in dark areas, but it also means that anyone can see what you're looking at. Can blind people wearing night vision goggles if shined into their eyes.
  • Night vision goggles: Lets you see for a short range in the dark, without giving away your position. Can be turned on/off to avoid being blinded by the flashlight.
  • Holster: Instantly switches between weapons. Useful for snipers when they're ambushed.
  • Grenade: Fairly standard "baseball" type frag grenade. Used as a handheld-category weapon once selected.

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