Well technically it’s being re-released in a much improved version, but I’ve had a play and it’s now pretty close to the glory days of the AHL 1.4/5 era.
For those who have no idea what any of those words mean, go and watch the trailer embedded above. Multi-player gunbastard madness.
The Action family of games and primarily it’s somewhat more elitist sibling The Opera was where I started out getting involved in making games as a teenager, and incidentally what I spent a large part of those years playing. John Woo, akimbo pistols and crazy dives through plate glass windows were the epitome of adrenaline soaked cool to my younger self and I spent far too long in darkened rooms trying to recreate scenes from films with a copy of Hammer and Paint Shop Pro. I certainly would be doing what I’m doing today without the time I spent coding The Opera’s abortive Source version (I submitted a chunk of it for review to some senior programmers at Codemasters, and I built a seperate Half-Life mini-mod for my degree dissertation). It’s no exaggeration to say that they’ve had more direct influence on my career and employable skills then any of the courses I took at university.
Understandably I’m a little nostalgic for that time, but I think there is a genuinely good game in AHL and indeed in this new Source version with fresh maps. The servers seem to crash a fair bit right now (the current developers appear to be well aware) but when they’re up it still provides some great moments of action movie joy as you dive backward from the top of some stairs, sailing right over some mook’s head and nail him in the back with a magnum. Nothing beats that. Don’t just trust me though, trust RPS too and read this great retrospective.
You can get AHL 2 here.