Jailbreak Source

Infobox VG
title =

caption = The logo for "Jailbreak: Source"
developer = "Jailbreak" Team
distributor = Steam
license = Freeware
engine = Source engine
version = Beta 0.4 (3 May 2008)
released = February 19, 2007
(Beta 0.1 & Beta 0.2)
March 30, 2007
(Beta 0.3)
genre = First-person action
modes = Multiplayer
media = Download
platforms = Windows
requirements = 1.2 GHz processor;
256 MB RAM;
DirectX 7 graphics card;
Full versions of "" and
the Source SDK;cite web|url=http://www.jailbreaksource.com/about.php|title="Jailbreak: Source" About|publisher="Jailbreak Team" |accessdate=2008-09-16]
Internet connection
input = Mouse, keyboard

"Jailbreak Source" is a multiplayer team-based first-person action video game, developed as a total conversion modification on the Valve Corporation's proprietary Source engine. The game is currently in beta development stages, with its first public release on the 14th of February 2007.cite web|url=http://www.moddb.com/mods/jailbreak/news/jailbreak-released|title=Release!|publisher="Jailbreak" Team|date=2007-02-19|accessdate=2008-09-16] 0.2 followed a week later as a patch. The third major public version was released two months later on April 21st 2007.cite web|url=http://www.moddb.com/mods/jailbreak/news/jailbreak-source-v03-released|title="Jailbreak" Beta 0.3 Released!|publisher="Jailbreak" Team|date=2007-04-021|accessdate=2008-09-16] The latest release was made available just over a year later, on May 3rd 2008 cite web|url=http://www.moddb.com/mods/jailbreak/news/jailbreak-source-04-released|title="Jailbreak" Beta 0.4 Released!|publisher="Jailbreak" Team|date=2008-05-03|accessdate=2008-09-16]

The gamemode of Jailbreak has been a long standing staple of the modding community, appearing in many different game engines over the last ten years. Originating as a Quake II modification developed by Team Reaction, the game has seen success on the GoldSrc engine, and more recently the Unreal Tournament 2003 Engine.

This latest incarnation has been very well received by mod industry critics, being praised for its originality, graphical quality, amusing executions and team based gameplay. Upon the release of "Jailbreak: Source 0.4", the game acquired approximately two million player minutes per month on the Steam content delivery system.cite web|url=http://www.steampowered.com/v/index.php?area=stats&cc=GB|title=Steam: Game and Player Statistics|publisher=Valve Corporation|accessdate=2008-02-28] The team are using a "release early, release often" system to refine the gameplay constantly, using community feedback to expand and better the games mechanics. The mod is freely available to anyone who has purchased Half Life 2.


"Jailbreak Source" is built around two teams, each with a jail in their base, when an enemy player is killed, they respawn inside the opposing teams jail, where they can either await release by their own team who are fighting to get to the release button, or escape by their own means, through devious and deadly escape routes. Once the whole enemy team is in jail, the round is won, and the losing team executed in a variety of cruel and unusual ways. The latest release of Jailbreak: Source is a "near" total conversion with the majority of content being custom created, including 17 new weapons, ranging from Chainguns to Railguns.

With the release of "Jailbreak: Source 0.4" came the introduction of Points and Perks, which drastically changed the focus of the gameplay toward teamwork and cooperation. The perks system was designed to allow the creation of custom classes, meaning a player could play in a Stealthy Medic role, or a fast moving Heavy weapons role, or any combination the player can think up. This change of focus encouraged more teamwork, as players need to work together to create a team that could effectively counteract the opposing teams perk system. The introduction of a Healing tool, also meant that players needed to cooperate more to ensure every team member was up to full health before assaulting the enemy jail.

The points system was also designed to reward players for their own style of play. During the release of 0.3, the team recognised that certain players were more comfortable in defending roles, but these players were not getting as many frags as attacking or mid-field players. To counteract this, a dynamic scoring system was implemented to reward players who kill enemy soldiers near to the release button, or who kill escaping prisoners.

Points & Perks

In the first three beta releases of "Jailbreak Source", gameplay was very similar to Team Deathmatch, with frags for kills and little reward for playing the game in a tactical fashion. To rectify this, the current release of Jailbreak included a new system where players gained points for playing the game in either defensive, offensive, or attack styles. For example, players receive bonus points for defending their release button, or for escaping from Jail. The second significant change to the current release, was to add a Perks system allowing players to spend their points on a combination of skills and abilities from a selection of twelve to augment their playing style. These perks included augmentations like Stealth, Double Jump, Healing, Regeneration and Awareness. The concept was designed to allow players to create a custom class and is balanced to prevent individuals becoming overpowered as each skill has an opposing skill to combat it. For example, if the enemy team is using Stealth, then choosing Awareness will give away their position on the players HUD.

*Level 1 Perks:
**Damage Reduction - Reduces the amount of damage enemy attacks cause by 33%.
**Double Jump - Allows the player to jump twice, once in mid air.
**Health Regeneration - Regenerates health at 1 unit per second.
**Damage Increase - Increases damage dealt by weapons by 33%.
*Level 2 Perks:
**Accuracy - Increases weapon accuracy by 33%
**Concealed Weapon - Provides the player with a Silenced Pistol whilst in jail.
**Speed Increase - Increases player running speed by 33%
**Stamina - Increase players ability to sprint.
*Level 3 Perks:
**Awareness - Shows enemy locations and health on the HUD.
**Get out of Jail Free! - Allows the player to spawn back into the battlefield once per round.
**Healer - Heals all players within a short radius.
**Stealth - Makes players invisible if they stand still, and more visible the faster they move.

After the release of 0.4, many players were concerned that the points system was unfairly balanced in favour of higher skilled players, and that as such, perks were too readily available, overpowering them. To address this, in the latest patch (0.4.1), a dynamic scoring system has been implemented, so that low scoring players who kill high scoring players receive points based on the difference in their scores, giving highly skilled players a handicap, and lower skilled players a significant boost allowing them to gain perks previously inaccessible. This update paved the way for Clan Matches and a leaderboard system was quickly setup by the team.


There are two teams in the current release, Rebels and Combine. New high quality skins were created for each team to further define the red and blue colour scheme of the mod and assist players in knowing their location within each map. In the next release, the team have replaced the Combine and Rebel player models with Robots and Dinosaurs respectively and they plan to implement two different player models for each team to add variation. This was exclusively revealed in a special "Live" ModDB Interview cite web|url=http://www.jailbreaksource.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3389|title=ModDB Live Interview|publisher="ModDB" |accessdate=2008-09-16]


The current release of "Jailbreak: Source" comes with eight maps. Each map is a unique environment, with a common red/blue theme throught. The map themes include an Underwater Research Station, an Elizabethan Ghost Town, a crashing Space Ship, an Arctic Base, and a Neo-Tokyo city.cite web|url=http://www.jailbreaksource.com/media.php|title=Official Maps|publisher="Jailbreak" Team|accessdate=2008-09-16] The maps have been built with 16 player games in mind, but can cope with 32. Some maps are mirrored exactly, whilst others have a more free form approach. Each map contains complex, puzzle or cooperation based escape routes, including stopping a deadly rotating fan, navigating through a haunted maze, and dodging lasers. Every map has a unique custom execution, including a Helicopter bombing run, being sucked out of an airlock, being attacked by Snow Lions, and being crushed by a moving ceiling. Further maps are to be added in subsequent releases, and a new game mode is due to be added for the next release. In addition to the official maps, the game's community has created a map pack containing 14 new environments.cite web|url=http://www.jailbreaksource.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3419|title=Custom Maps|publisher="Jailbreak" Community|accessdate=2008-09-16]

Critical reception

"Jailbreak: Source" has received an overall positive reception from various critics. Mod DB wrote a lengthy preview of the mod prior to the release of 0.4 describing it as "fresh and exciting", and praising it for it's approach to game design by allowing a player "to play in whatever style suits you best and still have a contribution to a team win". The reviewer also commented on the environment design, "For instance, the new maps are amazing - not only do they look great but each level is like another game within itself!" finally ending by saying that the game would be a "surefire hit". The majority of the review was full of praise, but Mod DB did criticise the lack of extensive custom sounds within the mod saying "Some of the HL2 sound effects are there but this does not take away from the feeling each theme creates for itself.".cite web|url=http://www.moddb.com/mods/jailbreak/features/jailbreak-04-preview|title="Jailbreak: Source" preview |accessdate=2008-09-16 |date=2008-04-12|publisher=Mod DB]

The release of beta 0.4 prompted coverage of the game by "]

"Jailbreak: Source 0.3" has also been featured in "|last=Hogarty|first=Steve] The mod was also available to install from the demo disc.

The release of Jailbreak Source 0.3 was also covered on "Kotaku" where it was cited as being "an original enough premise, at least in terms of FPS games, and because of that definitely worth a look." cite web|url=http://kotaku.com/gaming/notag/hl2-gets-penetentiary-mod-238348.php|title="Kotaku" Article |accessdate=2008-09-16|date=2008-02-21|publisher=Kotaku|work=Kotaku|last=Plunkett|first=Luke]

In an article published by the Planet Half-Life website on the GameSpy network, IGN, staff writer "Thomas "Editor321" Rogers" described the game as a "unique modification with dynamic gameplay". The review was mainly positive, with the writer going on to state that "The content of the game is good, but I look forward to the different map environments the most". One of the key things criticised in the review was the points and perks system "Something I believe that holds these back from being a pinnacle part of gameplay is, they are incredibly expensive point wise. Some of these perks cost upwards of 80 points! That’s a lot of killing and capturing you have to do, which quite frankly, is really hard to do." The writers overall opinion of the game was that "Jailbreak is not a game for everyone, if you're looking for realism and military tactics, look away, but if you fancy some team based arcade action, sign right up!". cite web|url=http://planethalflife.gamespy.com/View.php?view=Reviews.Detail&id=63|title="Jailbreak: Source" 0.4 |accessdate=2008-09-16|date=2008-08-09|publisher=IGN|work=Planet Half-Life|last=Rogers|first=Thomas]


External links

* [http://www.jailbreaksource.com/ The official "Jailbreak: Source" website.]
* [http://www.moddb.com/mods/jailbreak "Jailbreak Source" at ModDB.]
* [http://www.jailbreaksource.com/press.php "Further Press Links" Official Site.]

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