John Woo-Hoo: Double Action Boogaloo Is Free, Out Now

I've seen Adam do this.

Before Counter-Strike won the Mod War (1996-2003), it was common for total conversions to take cues from John Woo films. Mods like Action Quake 2 (and its Action * derivatives), The Opera and The Specialists made multiplayer that wasn’t simply about running and shooting, but about doing both in style, preferably by diving sideways in slow motion through a skyscraper window while idly daydreaming about how good the Matrix sequels were surely going to be.

Those days may live again (even the Matrix bit, if you still dare to dream): some of the makers of the Specialists have released a free, standalone multiplayer shooter called Double Action: Boogaloo. Free as in free, that is; no microtransactions or free-to-play infrastructure, just a simple game of wielding pistols akimbo and releasing flocks of doves. There’s a new trailer and more detail below.

This is a neat bit of editing:

If you want more traditional mod style, here’s a longer game trailer scored by some iffy remixed music:

Double Action first popped up as a Kickstarter project last April, when a two-person team had been working on it for two years and wanted to devote their full-time attention so it could be finished that summer. This obviously didn’t work out, as the project fell far short of its target. Still, the developers had level-headed ambition: the game was always going to be free, they had no interest in stretch goals, and they were upfront about the fact the game would never match megabucks production levels. That may have hurt their Kickstarter prospects, but it’s probably the same qualities that have seen the game released now.

The latest version of DA:B is downloadable now via ModDB, and all it requires to run is that (the free) Source SDK Base 2013 Multiplayer is installed within Steam. If you don’t have that already, the Double Action installer will prompt you to download it automatically.

I’ve had a quick mess around with it and its simple window-smashing dives are certainly satisfying, but at time of writing the servers are empty. This means that you – yes, specifically you – are the secret ingredient still missing from the game.

Once installed Double Action will appear and can be launched via your Steam games list, but if you’d like to be able to download it directly through Steam, the game is is looking for votes on Greenlight. There’s more trailers and screenshots there, too.


  1. tikey says:

    Is this something like the Specialists without martial arts?

  2. Eukatheude says:

    I am so playing this.

  3. Baltech says:

    Whelp, time to relive the glorious days of Action Half-Life and wince at the deterioration of my motor skills.

  4. Quill says:

    Transposing this style of gameplay to Source was worth it just to throw physics into the mix. I have yet to grow tired of breaching doors by running headlong into them.

    Anyway, I expect an Aussie server up and running by tomorrow morning.

  5. Napoleon15 says:

    I’m of the opinion that the Half-Life time period was the great heyday of multiplayer modding. It felt like there was always a new mod coming out every week, and sure, they weren’t very polished, but it sure was exciting and interesting to get together with friends and try them all out. Good times.

    • Shieldmaiden says:

      I totally agree. I never understood people who played CS or TFC all the time when there was such a variety of delicious mod goodness out there.

    • buzzmong says:

      I think it was combination of decent mod tools (Worldcraft/Hammer and also the UT Editor of that period) and the fact that due to the lower technical requirements, a lot of it could be done by one person or a small team with a decent turn around.

      Making a mod now, especially a total conversion, is more difficult in my opinion, especially trying to do it from scratch, as the fidelity of all the assets has been greatly ramped up, and even if there’s better tools, assets do take a much longer amount of time to create.

      Even some developers have openly said that, Tripwire have said it’s the reason why there’s a lot less content in RO2 compared to RO.

      I do sometimes think the mid 2000’s push for greater and greater graphical fidelity by the big publishers might have actually done quite a bit of damage to the health of PC gaming, which has sort of only been repaired in the last few years by the big rise of non AAA games becoming part of the accepted mainstream.

      • HadToLogin says:

        Also, it feels like those games were much more open for edits, while now you have to make Total Conversion or GTFO.

        Or maybe it’s players that won’t touch something that change physics gun into portal gun if there’s no completely new story involved?

        Bethesda-games have tons of little mods that edit few things changing whole experience. But outside of that, there’s so little X360-PS3-era games that allow changing more then few lines in ini files, you can’t add anything new to old stuff (which is a big shame when I remember Enemy Unknown, which could be improved in so many ways, by adding new weapon types and enemies – Long War was able to reuse in-game content, but it could be so much better without probably-engine restrictions, making my dream of Jagged Alliance mod to be just a dream).

        • frenchy2k1 says:

          The point you are missing is that mods are not dead, they just evolved.
          You are right that graphical fidelity has been a rising problem for small team, but the truth is that in the 1996-mid 2000s, people wanting to try their hand at game creation would go for a mod.
          Nowadays, they go for an indie game…
          So, mods are not dead. As game engine closed down, game creation tools and engine opened up. Who would have forecast that Unreal Engine would be available for $20/months 15 years ago? That Unity would exist and be fully free for the taking?
          So, less mods now, but a lot of indies instead. I doubt we lost much in the process…

      • Napoleon15 says:

        Yeah, I think you’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head.

  6. yabonn says:

    Weirdly getting flashes of Soldier of Fortune. o0

  7. rebb says:

    I really wish the ActionQuake strain of the “Realistic Guns Yo!” mods had won the war back then. The world would be a richer place.

  8. Scrote says:

    Excited about this, happy to be a secret ingredient!

  9. derbefrier says:

    Action half life was one of my favorite and most played mods ever. Will download this asap.

  10. SaVi says:

    Played specialist with friends till we dropped. I hope they left the Martial Arts in and made them even better.

  11. Phendron says:

    The Specialists was my favorite of the HL Mods by a wide margin, I lost hundreds of hours there. Pretty nostalgic now.

  12. OldDirtyMerc says:

    You guys know Action Half-Life 2 is a thing right? Check it out.

    • HadToLogin says:

      I wouldn’t, at least until v3 is released – which was supposed to happen last year, but I guess if you have “Half Life” in name it’s obvious there’s going to be problems with timely release.

      Anyway, v2 has lots of balance issues and tons of little unfinished quirks that can easily make you hate it and not pick it up when more polished version appears.

      • Chaosed0 says:

        It’s not the “Half Life” slowing it down, it’s the “v3”.

        • HadToLogin says:

          Half Life is slowing (I don’t think any Half Life was released when Valve announced they will), v3 is killing :P

      • derbefrier says:

        There’s that and the fact no one plays it which is a shame. I don’t think I have ever booted it up and saw anything but empty servers.

  13. Jericho says:

    Action Half-Life, The Specialists, and The Opera were pretty much my life from 1999 – 2004. I’m glad to see this little taste of my adolescence bounding back, but since I haven’t played a multiplayer FPS in about a decade, I bet I’ll be shit at this. Only one way to find out…

    Team Fortress, Counter Strike, and Day of Defeat made the jump to Source, but here’s some other Half-Life mods in dire need of a resurrection:

    They Hunger
    Wasteland Half-Life (aka The Wastes)
    Science and Industry
    Rocket Crowbar
    PVK (Pirates, Vikings, and Knights) <– Although the Chivalry games pretty much are what PVK set out to be

    • Shieldmaiden says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who has fond memories of Wasteland Half-Life. Running down a narrow corridor, dodging a hail of SMG fire and then taking the guy out with a single, well-placed katana strike was probably the coolest thing I will ever do in a FPS.

      • Jericho says:

        Katana duels on the top of the crashed AC-130 were one of many beautiful memories from those days…

        That and knocking someone off a skyscaper in wl_Needles with the butt of your sniper rifle. More FPS games these days need pistol whipping and rifle butt clubbing in them…

    • Wedge says:

      There is a PVK II on Source, and it is (was) quite fun, though I assume it is long since dead now.

      • Leb says:

        PVK2 was awesome, just no one knows about it and thus no one plays it.

        A PVK3 with some hype media surrounding it would get some attention (and moneys) I imagine

  14. irongamer says:

    That video does look a bit like how it felt to play action quake back in the day… good times.

  15. TychoCelchuuu says:

    This mod is a ton of fun. It really scratches the “The Specialists” itch. TS wasn’t just one of my favorite mods of all time, it was one of my favorite games of all time. This mod has less content but the core gameplay is more or less the same and I’m having basically as much fun. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoyed The Specialists and anyone who never tried The Specialists. Which means I’d recommend it to everyone, because nobody didn’t like The Specialists, right?

  16. trillex says:

    Vino always said he was done with The Specialist but there was constantly a vibe on the forum that suggested he/they might release an update. Sadly never happened and I stopped checking.

    So glad to see this is a thing!

  17. Spacewalk says:

    I love how the ammo display is actual bullets instead of boring numbers.

  18. no1funkydude says:

    I still think one of the greatest Mods is the Matrix mod for Max Payne

  19. Antistar says:

    Yeah, I’m getting flashbacks here too; back to my high school and Uni days when my friends and I still had time to get together at someone’s house for week-long LAN parties… Lots of Action Quake 2 (especially with the ‘Dirty’ mod for it), AHL2, etc. I even made a couple of levels for AHL2 that I played with my friends but didn’t actually release online (they had some problems). One of them was based on the Lobby shootout scene in the Matrix – Graham really hit the nail on the head there; the Matrix was a huge part of the nerd Zeitgeist at the time.

    Towards the end of that era was when it finally really crystallised for me that I didn’t like the combative feeling of competitive multiplayer though (competitive anything, really), so I think all this will remain as nostalgia for me.