Led by Dwayne 'Oddjob' Douglass, Action Half-Life went through several beta versions before being released as version 1.0 in 1999. It originally had several lead programmers involved, but Stuart 'Payback' Crouch coded the last few betas leading to v1.0 (which was meant to be the final one).
AHL:Directors Cut, however, is a project started by the Ministry of Action. While this project isn't supported by the A-Team themselves, it has been authorized. Their goal is to take the best features of previous versions to create a final "Director's cut". This includes improving overall accessibility, weapon behavior, and content. The number of players who actively play Action Half-life has waned recently, and this is something the Ministry of Action team hopes to rectify.
The latest version of Action Half-life is Action Half-life: Director's Cut - Release Candidate 2 (RC2). RC3 is currently in development (as of October 2008) and is being touted as the final version of AHL:DC.
Recently, a combined effort with continued blessing from the original A-Team, Ministry of Action has released Action Half-Life 2. This is version 1.0 "The Sauce of Death," and it appears that this will be a continued work with further releases to come.
Action Half-life has a stunt system similar to the one found in Max Payne, introduced in Action beta 3.0 long before Max Payne was released[. It was also the first Half-Life mod to feature ]akimbo pistols (although they are treated as one weapon). Furthermore, it pioneered several graphic enhancements to the Half-Life engine, including the visible laser sight and wall debris. Action Half-life also has support for a single player mode. Some unique features in this mode include a move called "Adrenaline Rush", which is similar to Bullet Time.
Another noted aspect of Action Half-life is the inclusion of several hidden areas that are housed in many of its maps, especially those created by famed map designer Hondo. One map in particular ("5 AM") requires the cooperation of multiple players to access and complete. It is in fact much bigger than the main portion of the map.
A more recent feature addition is the walljumps that were added in Release Candidate 2.
The object of the game is very similar to Half-life: kill or be killed.
At the start of a round, players must choose a Single Pistol, Unique Weapon, and Special Item. Unlike the buy menu in Counter-strike, these weapons are free and have limited ammunition, which makes tactical usage crucial.
In addition to the usual Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, a round based game-mode called "Last Man Standing" is also available, which can be described as either Deathmatch without respawning or Teamplay with everyone on their own team. This is very similar to a mode in Unreal Tournament, which also has a game-mode called "Last Man Standing", but players are allowed to respawn multiple times per round.