Jawbreaker Review | PC

Jawbreaker is a game that requires you to be extremely vigilant and skeptical about your surroundings.

By AtillaTuran, Posted 26 Apr 2024

First-person games, doesn’t matter which genre it is, always fascinate people in terms of action, story, or horror. Although the horror part addresses a minority of people, it still has quite a lot of followers. Outlast or Five Nights at Freddy’s have made quite a big impact on horror games in the past ten years or so and they are currently the leading names in the horror genre.

In terms of gameplay though, they have their unique ways of delivering the eeriness and horror elements to the player. Outlast, especially, puts players into the perspective of being isolated and constantly being searched for while keeping little to no resources. This gives the immersion of being an actual setting of a terrible situation, which can be amplified with other elements such as jumpscares and eerie sounds.

Jawbreaker, Review, PC, Gameplay, Screenshots, FPS Game

Jawbreaker, a game by Vincent Lade, has the same thematic approach to the horror genre as Outlast. Our main character accidentally gets thrown into the hell-hole filled with the cruel Faceless Gang, which swore to get rid of us as their main leader putting a price on our head.

Jawbreaker opens up with a slow narrative showcasing what has happened to the world around us. After the outbreak of 2028, people started creating their own living spaces between vaults and highly secured places, while local gangs started claiming their territories in the city. Lack of resources is a big problem, so our guy is sent to search down a police station to loot the place and return to his vault.

The problem is, that he gets knocked out while he is leaving with loot. Now he’s completely out of luck and has no other option besides going through the police station- and as it turns out, the police station is already being looted by the gang, making it a not-so-much-desired place to be staying in.

Jawbreaker does not start becoming a full-on stealth game until you reach “The Jump” level, which is around an hour mark if you take a slow pace. Until you reach the mentioned level, you get to do some basic puzzles to find out how to get to the police station. Unfortunately, puzzles themselves are not that hard, though the lack of direction given makes it a rather tedious task to overcome.

My initial thoughts as soon as Jawbreaker started were taking a look at the controls, and testing how they felt. I have no idea if this is a staple way of approaching stealth games but using the mouse to look around was very floaty and even the camera took some delay before deciding to move. I guess this was made to be more realistic as in how humans move their heads, but it ended up being a nuisance to give a proper reaction to my environment.

Jawbreaker, Review, PC, Gameplay, Screenshots, FPS Game

There aren’t any jump mechanics involved either, so our protagonist is completely glued to the ground in Jawbreaker. If you have any other doubts about missing items and decide to go back to some levels, I’d say good luck, as some levels tend to have no turning points.

Jawbreaker is a title where you learn how to adapt to enemies’ moving patterns and try to avoid obvious traps. However, this is easier said than done, as the game provides no room for error most of the time. In fact, with an update, the game was altered to be easier for players who complained about the inhumane reaction times by the AI, which I gave the full credit for.

Stealth sections used to be painful before the update, even though the game allowed you to hide in chosen closets to get away from trouble, it was hard to shake the enemies off your tail. The suspense when the enemy sees you in his vision is a thrill to experience, but when you fail almost all the time to run away from the threat, it becomes rather boring and annoying to deal with.

Enemies had the tendency to turn around at most times, spot you through the walls, and see you outside their FOV. The developer took the feedback and changed the game midway through its release process. The enemies now have slower moving speed and lower FOV, but still, you need to be tip-toeing around them so that you won’t get caught.

In order to know who’s where Jawbreaker provides a radar for moving objects around you, therefore you have some slight idea where the gang members are. Alongside enemies, it marks mission objectives and useful items on the radar as well, so you can divert your route for other useful stuff while trying to dodge. If that is not enough, you can lean and peep around the corners to seek out when you sneak past your threats too.

Jawbreaker, Review, PC, Gameplay, Screenshots, FPS Game

Stealth mechanics were well thought of, but I never could get a grasp of it even though they were literally “thrown” in front of me. In certain places, you can find bottles of beer to throw around, so enemies would react and take a look at what’s causing the sound. But despite my biggest efforts, the sound didn’t alert the enemies whatsoever, so I gave up on being tactical and focused on being extremely silent instead.

Jawbreaker follows the line of giving the player a stealth level, then a puzzle level, and then a stealth level again in order. The story is quite linear and there isn’t much to explore in the police station, as you try to find your way out of various exits available. The environment is well-structured, but you barely get any movement, as aforementioned, there is no jump button so you are kind of limited in terms of movement. Even the sprint might not be enough to outrun your enemies.

One of the most prominent parts of the Jawbreaker is its ambient sounds and voice acting. Despite being a one-man-job, everything about sounds is quite terrifying to give the best feeling of horror to the player. Not to mention, cleverly designed horror elements, striking in the most unexpected places help set the mood for being hunted by a lot of ruthless murderers.

The item system gets a pass too, it is handled quite similarly to other horror games out there. Our protagonist has only six items to carry in his pockets, but with the help of suitcases scattered around the different levels, we can use them to teleport some of the unnecessary items with us to other levels. These can range from helpful items like lighters to gasmasks, to usable items like currency and ammo.

Jawbreaker, Review, PC, Gameplay, Screenshots, FPS Game

Some unique items actually help us along our adventure to escape the police station, such as a lighter to light up the areas that are too dark or silenced pistols to take the enemy down without making too much noise. We have other options to fight back against the enemies we come across, but those are usually very noisy solutions to give our position away.

Speaking of taking out enemies and ammo, we get a hold of a sawn-off shotgun in later levels, which is quite odd since we are stuck in a police station and the lack of firearms is quite concerning. I know the developer is trying to build an atmosphere around the police station, being stranded by blood-hungry gang members, but come on, not even a single pistol?

Anyways, the sawn-off shotgun is not for going rogue on the gang members, but it is used when you get caught by any of the enemies. It temporarily disables one enemy in a level and ammo is hard to come by too, so use it wisely. I need to underline wisely as it is a shotgun after all and from long ranges, it doesn’t do anything but alert the enemies to you. So it is better to use it once you are sneaking up on a gang member and shoot them before they notice your presence.

I like the way the developer approaches some of the interactions between the AI and the player, even if you get a great solution to your problems, such as being found in the middle of a hallway, you can use your resources to get away with said problem- but with the cost of adding more trouble onto your head. It has the double-edged sword mentality that most horror games do not employ hard enough.

Jawbreaker, Review, PC, Gameplay, Screenshots, FPS Game

Since Jawbreaker is a horror game, the jump scares are inevitable to see. The normal indie horror games only employ jump scares to be the main part of the horror, but Jawbreaker has set them to be in the most unexpected places, and sometimes the game can play tricks on you by placing some objects to look like enemies. One example I came across was the two light sources looking like eyes without the lighting around them, which made me believe it was an actual human.

As an indie horror with short playtime, Jawbreaker plays fine, but some elements do stick out in terms of not being polished well enough. It becomes more apparent with animations used in the game. They are a bit clanky and do not fit well with the character's movements, and you do not know whether an enemy is facing you or not until they start chasing you. Not to mention, their area of “catching” you is rather massive. You could get caught without wanting to stick out like a sore thumb to begin with.

The health system is another crucial point in the game, as you only get three hit points. This means you can only get hit twice by the enemies; the third one is a guaranteed game over to you. Since the game is trying its best to be harsh to players, finding health-related can be quite rare to come by. All in all, Jawbreaker is quite cruel when it comes to having mercy. On top of being harsh on the health, enemies also have a high range once they find out where you are with one health. Unfortunately, you get the game over once you come across one of the gang members in front of you.

You could try to make a 180 turn but that usually doesn’t help as AI is programmed to tackle you right away even if there is a good one or two meters between you and the enemy. I think that could be changed because high reaction time could potentially help players who are smart enough to decide their next move on the go.


Jawbreaker is a short and nifty indie horror game with a scary atmosphere. Despite added changes, the game still requires a difficult selection and better AI. As for people who really like unforgiving games with horror elements, Jawbreaker should be right up their alley. Previous projects of Vincent Lade have been of the same caliber, so if you like Jawbreaker for its presentation of horror and violence, you will probably also like his other games as well.

Atilla Turan (@burningarrow)
Editor, NoobFeed


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General Information



Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Vincent Lade
Developer(s): Vincent Lade
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Stealth, Survival Horror
Release Date: 2024-04-23

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