Jailbreak: Source Flexes Its Muscles

At least you can't deny me Print Screen, idiots

Ah, how it’s grown. Where once Jailbreak hid its light under a bushel of reused City 17 character models, now it’s a bespoke, insane clash of dinosaurs and robots against cod-historical backdrops. It’s just hit its 0.6 release, and the Jailbreak Team seem to be treating this as though it’s the mod’s first proper release. Maybe it is, and any prior memories we have of it are simply a collective hallucination, like that time when poodles took over the planet for an entire Wednesday.

If you’re not familiar with it, it’s based upon the olden mod staple of killed players respawning in the opposing team’s jail, then either lurking around waiting for rescue, or attempting to devise their own way out and back to the front lines. Part of JBS’ evolution has seen the addition of classes of a sort, each player picking a bunch of perks which give ’em specific improvements but make ’em vulnerable in the face of players armed with certain other perks. 0.6 is the biggest’n’weirdest version yet, by all accounts.

I’d dearly love to give this silly-but-complex thing a go (even though their official website does that stupid, counter-productive thing where it forbids me from saving screenshots, thereby half-convincing me not to bother pimping their game for them. RAGE), but alas I’m stymied by the Victorian speeds of my new home’s broadband. Oh, when it gets upgraded I’ll show you. I’LL SHOW YOU ALL.

Grab the 400 Mb mod from here, or regardez-vous the trailer below:


  1. The Hammer says:

    Man, Half Life 2 mods. And professionally-done, lookin’-good HL2 mods at that.

    Isn’t it one of those original Half Life mods that has finally been upgraded to HL2?

    • Ging says:

      Jailbreak has been around in some for or another for literally decades, I think there’s been a JB mod for every major game engine iteration, ever – at least since Quake 2.

  2. poop says:

    looks pretty sweet, I just hope people are still playing it after a week :O

  3. Psychopomp says:


  4. Drexer says:

    Oh, wow. It certainly improved since I last played it. Downloading it now.

    Besides needing to change the death beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep, they really gave this a wonderful overall.

  5. jgoam says:

    That trailer is distinctly lacking of any jail break type gameplay.

    Just looks like a standard death match. Seems kind of similar to Dystopia but not as good, and lacking any distinguishing features.

    Also choosing rock namesake soundtrack over something that would actually create an atmosphere of what the game is like = fail

    Oh wait, did you say Dinosaurs vs Robots?


    • Dominic White says:

      If you’ve never played it, here’s the deal: It’s Team Deathmatch, but when you die, you get put in the enemy jail. If your entire team gets captured, you lose. However, your teammates can attack the enemy base to break you out and restore your numbers to full.

      It’s simple and addictive stuff.

    • The Dark One says:

      So it’s like Prison Dodgeball?

  6. Nero says:

    With dinosaurs & robots you say? Gotta take a look.

  7. ChampionHyena says:

    Oh, man.

    Oh, man.

    Back in my UT99 days, I used to play Jailbreak to death. And this bastard’s just oozing style from every pore.

    Downloading post-haste. If its bite is as good as its bark, this may have to be my new mod evangelism project.

  8. Johnny says:

    Man… As much as I enjoy jailbreak, I’ll have to pass on this simply because of the Source engine.
    It just doesn’t feel right in multiplayer. No source game does.
    It’s a wonderful engine for singleplayer, but as soon as you introduce a little latency, shit hits the fan.

  9. Colton says:

    Wow – I remember Jailbreak for Quake.

    It was the only mod that got me to play FPS games on the internet against other people instead of just single-player. Some of the best gaming in my life. There’s nothing better then being the last player left on your side, sneaking into the enemy base and slapping that button that frees all your companions from the jail.

  10. Andrew Wills says:

    Thanks for the article guys! The release has been great so far, such a relief to finally have it out! What kind of problem did you have saving screenshots though, Alec? I’ve not put any restrictrions on the site, so that’s a bit concerning. Either way, I’ve uploaded a media pack now to the front page, just in case!

    Hope to see some of you in the servers!

    • Alec Meer says:

      You’re very welcome. The screenshot thing: all the right-click save/view/copy image options are blocked by whatever screenshot full-sizening code you’re using there.

  11. Tei says:

    It seems a mod full of original ideas and design. Maybe a bit fuzzy-dirty. Now I know how console players feel wen look at a FPS.

  12. RARGPHLAM says:

    Pretty much, but the imprisoned can attempt to escape through heavily boobytrapped corridors. On top of that the enemy team usually spawns by the prison so if they call shenanigans they can shoot at you and make your life a living hell.

  13. Justin says:

    Yay for dinosaurs. There needs to be more of those.

    Wait, no. (thinks of the pirate ninja monkey zombie thing.) It’s rare that something faddish can come out awesome.

  14. poop says:

    is it strange that this mod makes me nostalgic for playing HL2 mods in 2005?

  15. Dorino says:

    Hey, at least it isn’t Unreal Engine.

  16. Stabby says:

    singing children are super creepy.

  17. MDP says:

    @Lilliput King

    Those are Valve “in-house” made games. For some reason, whenever a third party developer attempts to make a Source-based mod, they all have that same small issue (despite how awesome some mods may be).

  18. joseph says:

    Played it, it’s awesome. Now just need some australian servers. 250+ ping is ouch.

    • Glove says:

      I hate our sparse population; this seems to happen for every game. Big, moping sadface.

    • Andrew Wills says:

      I’m working on getting a couple up for you guys, it would help a lot if you emailed a few of the bigger Aussie server providers to back me up.

    • Glove says:

      Sure, I’ll give Internode and 3FL a try.

  19. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    This actually sounds like it should be a TF2 mod. But I’m a fanboy and uninterested in cheating on TF2.

  20. Rakysh says:

    Spent an hour on it just, and it was really rather pleasant. Takes a while to really “get” the weapons and the healing thing really needs to be better- at the moment it’s a weird rainbow thing with a needle sticking out that just goes schlurp when you heal- no animation. Had some really good times though. The maps are very nice, and the little execution things at the end are very funny, even if the train one is too easy.

  21. Asskicker says:

    I have to say, this must be one of the most amazing mods I have ever played.
    It really gets the adrenaline bumping when playing and satisfaction when seeing the enemy team get executed is high! :D

    Must play for everyone who has any Source Game! :D

  22. robrob says:

    Oh my god a duck cannon i think i am in love

  23. Heliocentric says:

    The printscreen key is your friend Alec.

  24. mac and the nubs are playing vidya games says:

    This looks fun, dinosaurs in it, that’s cool, downloading nao,.

  25. zornbringer says:

    looks pretty neat. i see a lot of funny ideas in there. but why dinosaurs? :)

  26. mcnubbins says:

    becourse dinasours are cool

  27. westyfield says:

    Wow. I remember playing a lot of a jailbreak game mode for Medal of Honour Allied Assault back in the day. Definitely gonna give this one a go.
    Also, robots vs. dinosaurs? Has to be worth it!

  28. Dr Lulz says:

    @Nero …To shreds, you say. Well, how is his wife holding up? …To shreds, you say!

  29. mcnubbins says:

    Actually, after downloading and playing this pile o’ wank, dinosaurs aren’t cool no more.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Saw it coming, 3/10.

    • Andrew Wills says:

      Shame you felt that way, what didn’t you like? I’d prefer some feedback rather than a couple of somewhat insulting lines. Just let us know, we’re a reactive team, and we want to improve what we’ve done.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Fairly certain he was just trolling.

  30. reginald says:

    maybe because I have no nostalgia for this game… that trailer just didn’t sell me on anything. “SHOOT THINGS…WITH GUNS !”

    Im really liking games like l4d where you’re not just using guns 100% of the time. you’re throwing cars, spitting acid, pouncing from 50 feet, and vomiting on the enemy team. it changes things up a lot more.

  31. knifethrower says:

    Am I the only one that cringes a little every time they play a source “total conversion” only to hear the stock HL2 sounds? I know creating/recording your own sound effects is really hard but to me those sound are tied firmly in my mind to the HL2 universe and hearing them in other games just pulls me out of the experience. I know I’m being nitpicky, just my two-cents (or pence, whatever).

  32. eric says:

    I’ve been debating hosting jailbreak servers as one of my basic server options on http://www.hostedgameservers.com. I didn’t know it was getting enough momentum to be mentioned on a place like rock paper shotgun.

  33. Nader says:

    You are a moron.

  34. Unaco says:

    Played a little yesterday. It’s fun, to a point. Enjoyed a couple 30-40 minute long blasts, but it didn’t seem to suck me in any longer than that. I’ll likely keep it installed and jump in now and again, either to while 30 minutes away, or if some friends want to run around in it for a while. But I doubt it (or any other online FPS) will hook me like Dystopia did.

    Couple criticisms… It lacks hit beeps. It needs hit beeps. Also, the perk system just seems wrong. Team A vs Team B. Team A do well and wipe Team B for an execution. Team A get points. Team B don’t get points. Team A get perks. Team B don’t get perks. Team A have an extra advantage (over the one which allowed them to wipe Team B) and win again, getting more points and more perks, and get more of an advantage. Noone on Team B gets points, or perks, and none of them have a good time, and they all leave the server.

    • Andrew Wills says:

      Glad you plan to keep it installed, we built it as a jump-in-and-play kinda mod, where you can do exactly as you just said!

      As for the perks, the way they work right now worked great in beta testing, but now we’ve publically released we’re seeing the flaws, like the ones you mention above and as such the patch will be changing the way perks are distributed to players to make it more balanced and fun.

  35. Hogofwar says:

    That’s not a 100% total conversion

    It uses a few hl2 sound including the death beep and one of the weapons firing sounds (weapons don’t sound right, they are too quiet for what they do and look like) and it uses hl2 animations aswell, albeit with different models but still the same animations.

  36. Levictus says:

    Very cool mod, I enjoyed playing it, although it can get a little unbalanced when people on your team don’t work together and/or don’t know what to do. When people use mics, it makes the game much more fun as well.

    I would recommend trying this out for anyone who likes online FPS.

  37. kwyjibo says:

    When is this mod going to be distributed on Steam?

  38. Tei says:

    This is a bit meta, sorry.

    A tutorial from the Jailbreak team about how to make videos.
    link to moddb.com