The Specialists

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For the film, see The Specialist. For the MTV animated series, see The Specialists (animated series).
The Specialists
Developer(s) The Specialists mod team
Designer(s) Filippo "Morfeo" De Luca, Lorenzo "John_Matrix" Pasini
Engine GoldSrc
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) October 29, 2002
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Multiplayer

The Specialists is a multiplayer modification for the first-person shooter computer game Half-Life.


The Specialists was created by Filippo "Morfeo" De Luca and Lorenzo "John_Matrix" Pasini.[1] Originally made to be a team-play game (much like Counter-Strike, but with added action movie realism), The Specialists soon evolved into a death-match game with action movie realism. The Specialists 1.0 was first publicly released on October 29, 2002.


The Specialists is intended to resemble a generic action movie and is often compared to the film Face/Off, though several of the default player models, maps, and some of the game-play elements appear to be references to The Matrix.[original research?] It contains over 29 weapons, many power-ups, and 5 official game-types. Weapons and attacks have a very high lethality similar to most other "realism" games, while accuracy is unaffected by movement and even dramatic stunts, leading to a frenetic pace of gameplay.

One of the features that The Specialists is known for is Bullet Time; the ability to manipulate time to pass in slow motion. Bullet Time has been implemented in other titles such as Max Payne, but is typically found only in single-player titles, whereas The Specialists is mainly a multi-player modification. The game also makes heavy use of stunts including dives, kicking off walls, somersaults, and sliding across the floor, even rewarding players with scoring bonuses for killing while performing stunt combinations. It also features an extensive unarmed kung-fu system for melee attacks, incorporating a wide range of punches and kicks, along with the ability to disarm an opponent by knocking the weapon out of their hands.

The various stunts that can be performed can be controlled based on the direction that the player is looking in while trigger the appropriate controls. The weight of the player's weapon and equipment load is a very important part of The Specialists, as it determines a large part of the player's mobility; carrying vast amounts of heavy firepower will limit the type of stunts able to be performed and the speed at which the player can move, whereas players armed with only a few pistols and knives will be able to move very quickly and perform more acrobatic stunts. The Specialists contains a variety of power-ups which can be separated into two categories: Passive and active power-ups. Passive power-ups do not require activation; they last until the character is killed and their effect is maintained for the entire time. Active power-ups must be activated to have an effect, lasting several seconds, and are then consumed. The player may only carry one active power-up at a time. All can be found on the map as power-up pickups, but many of these are awarded after reaching a certain kill-streak or point-streak in a single life.