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Poll: Gaming Jumpscares

How have you been affected?

  • 1 - Mr Spock says: "gaming jumpscares are illogical, Captain"

    Votes: 7 29.2%
  • 2 - Alerted but not scared

    Votes: 6 25.0%
  • 3 - Got an internal fright

    Votes: 12 50.0%
  • 4 - Screamed/shouted

    Votes: 6 25.0%
  • 5 - Physical body movement

    Votes: 8 33.3%
  • 6 - Triggered real medical condition such as heart pain or panic attack

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    24

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
21,548
414
126
So I was watching some hilarious jumpscares (links are time-stamped):



1-3 for me. Usually jumpscares in horror games make me more alert but not scared. Occasionally at worst I might get an internal fright.

It's also worth noting that replaying checkpoints can quickly evaporate any feeling of "horror" and turn it into "this games is garbage BS".
 

Borealis7

Platinum Member
Oct 19, 2006
2,669
58
91
i don't like jump-sacres in movies, i don't like them in games. i do, however, get slightly stressed if my character is about to die and i have to quickly get away from the situation.
 

GodisanAtheist

Golden Member
Nov 16, 2006
1,887
413
136
3 & 5 for me. I get that quick shock sensation and at most will likely twitch, but since I'm not a showman streaming vids for likes I don't tend to do the absurd panicked shouting/screaming/throw-headphones-at-screen exaggerated flailing thing you see some people do. I'm not an internet badass either so I cannot say I feel nothing.

I dislike them in general as a tactic. They're cheap and tend to rob you of agency in a game.
- I would agree if a game is built around jump scares. They work well when a non-horror game includes a handful of "scary" levels (Vampire: Bloodlines Haunted House / HL:2 Ravenholm come to mind) but just demonstrate lazy design in true horror games where the player gets trained to anticipate them (Doom 3's monster in a closet shtick, every "that dead body is obviously not as dead as it seems" game).
 

OCNewbie

Diamond Member
Jul 18, 2000
7,585
22
81
The only game I've ever played that actually made me scream/yell (I actually discovered I yell when significantly startled, instead of a girlish scream - minor relief) was Subnautica. It wasn't a scripted jump scare either, just something that suddenly caught me off guard when I was already feeling very uneasy and on-edge doing something risky, where I thought I had just eluded a known danger. Fortunately I was on voice chat at the time, and one of my good friends got to witness that, so it's something we both can laugh about on the occasion I bring it up.
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
5,012
76
91
Went with #3.

An 'internal fright' probably describes best the point I can sometimes (very rarely) get to with certain games, but only very specific ones. I genuinely do not get jump scares easily. However, a game with a great suspenseful, heavy-on-the-shoulders atmosphere / ambiance will immerse me enough to potentially give that sort of internal fright. The sensation of 'potential danger right around the next corner', and dread, is what I can perceive the most if well executed. I'd say the dread - at least for me - comes in the form of expecting that something might happen at any moment but it's not quite happening yet; even though I'm absolutely expecting something and it keeps me at the edge of my seat so to speak. I can think of a few specific games that managed to do it:

- Super Metroid (probably the only game that really did immerse me to that extent within the whole 8-bit to 16-bit era, no jump scares in it per se but a lot of mystery and heavy atmosphere, and the ambient music to help maintain the feel throughout the whole thing)
- Resident Evil 2 (at the time when it was new)
- Silent Hill 2 (again, back when it was new)
- STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl (specifically the X-18 Labs the first time I went in there, actually had a hard time going back in for my following playthroughs)
- F.E.A.R. (mostly the first half of the game, then it got less and less immersive with suspense; at least for me)
- DOOM (yes, yes... the Ultimate Doom, back when it was new and I was just a kid, dark alleys and flickering lights in an immersive first-person view was all new stuff to me)
- Portal (the original, and to this day I'm still surprised but I felt some dread toward the end of the game; I think it was due to the general atmosphere)
- Half-Life 2 (Ravenholm, specifically; and also to some extent the first portion of the map where we finally get at the very base of the Citadel and then enter it for the first time)
- Left 4 Dead (the first one, when it was brand new, I will always remember the internal panic that went through my mind the first time I heard a horde in the distance followed by the ambient beats that accompanied it; I never quite experienced anything like that before; but the 'suspense' quickly faded away after a few days and it just became an action-oriented game with a cute zombie setting)

There might be a few others I'm not thinking of right now but the gist it that I'm not easily getting jump scares since the typical "BOO!" moments that come out of nowhere are things I can usually see coming a light-year away. They're overall just too predictable, and even if I wasn't expecting it and it genuinely does come out of nowhere I don't really 'jump' off my chair per se. I just roll my eyes and go like "Oh... yeah, should have seen this one coming". Maybe it has something to do with age, but I also think that quite simply put my 25+ years of experience with video gaming in general allowed me to 'see it all' when it comes to tricks that devs have tried over the genera and generations. It might have worked here and there a few times but once you experienced it enough it's not that surprising or even unexpected anymore. But yeah, speaking for myself here.

What I do really like, however, is atmosphere and suspense. I'd take that over anything like a super dark corridor with a flickering light at the end of it only to have some spirit rushing and screaming at me Ghostbusters-style from half way because I walked on an invisible trigger that I can already picture in my mind in the map editor that the developer used to make the game. And I'm perceiving things on a mechanical level this way mostly because... well, because I'm not 12 years-old anymore and I don't see everything as 'really happening' within the game and not everything is magic and grand anymore; I'm understanding what's behind the curtain now and it does 'remove the magic' a bit. I like to compare this with loving a movie for 'x' number of years (if not decades) until you watch the Making Of and nothing is that impressive anymore and you go like "Ooooooh so THAT is how it was done... oh, ok".

Yeah, little tip: don't watch Making Ofs.
 

cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
11,275
2,733
136
F jumpscares .. I am 110% battle ready whenever that shit hits my face...nope nope nope nope nope.. You can not get me to go see a horror movie unless its 1st date. JUST SAY NO!
 
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Reactions: Mai72

local

Golden Member
Jun 28, 2011
1,467
284
126
STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl (specifically the X-18 Labs the first time I went in there, actually had a hard time going back in for my following playthroughs)
This broke the game for me, I had to stop playing and never returned.
 

Mai72

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
9,076
529
126
Currently playing The Evil Within. That game has some pretty awesome graphics, and some very cool jumpscares. What I dislike about the game is the main character gets easily tired, and ammo is hard to come by. Two cheap tactics that developers tend to do to heighten the scares. Reminds me of Alan Wake. Another great horror game with a really good story. But, it's the same damn thing. The character can't run for shit and ammo is hard to find.
 

EXCellR8

Diamond Member
Sep 1, 2010
3,499
598
126
^I was never able to beat the level after the parking garage monster fight. An under-appreciated experience overall though; in a few ways better than the follow-up.

I've watched that part 1 of Cry of Fear w/ Markiplier so many times; it's still funny to see his reaction. That mod was pretty fantastic actually.

I like a good scare though and sometimes I jump or tense up quickly; I've actually hurt my neck before lol
 

EXCellR8

Diamond Member
Sep 1, 2010
3,499
598
126
Also, I really hated the "brain scorcher" level of Shadow of Chernobyl; those blackened suckers really freaked me out almost every time. The labs in the "Yantar?" section were also not exactly welcoming...

Learned to absolutely love HL2's Ravenholm, so much that it's actually my favorite section of the game.
 

Iron Woode

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 10, 1999
24,158
635
126
jump scares generally don't bother me much. I got used to them with Doom 3.

There was a good one in Bioshock that nearly made me scream. There is a similar one in Bioshock: Infinite.

Doom 2016 has a few good ones with not quite dead bodies and such.
 

Stg-Flame

Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
2,622
180
106
When F.E.A.R first came out, my buddy watched me play that game like a hawk because he actually broke his mouse when he rocketed it into a wall during one of the times Alma appears in front of you (on a ladder I believe), but nothing in that game even came close to making me jump. It just wasn't a jump-scare-type game. When I played through Doom 3 on my XBox by myself in a completely dark room, there was one occasion that, for whatever reason, made me drop the controller. Everything else was pretty on-par with "I bet there's a jump scare coming", but that one part underground got me. Since then, I can't recall a single time when a jump-scare got me.
 

Rifter

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
11,499
736
126
The dogs through the window in resident evil directors cut for PS one was pretty intense.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,180
369
126
A jumpscare might startle me a bit, but that's about it. Although, once you learn the tells, they're pretty easy to predict. "Hey, where'd all the sound go?" :p

All in all, I'm not a huge fan of them. As I usually say, "You know where else I get a 'jumpscare' at? A surprise birthday party, and at least they give me cake too!" :mad:
 

cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
11,275
2,733
136
When F.E.A.R first came out, my buddy watched me play that game like a hawk because he actually broke his mouse when he rocketed it into a wall during one of the times Alma appears in front of you (on a ladder I believe), but nothing in that game even came close to making me jump. It just wasn't a jump-scare-type game. When I played through Doom 3 on my XBox by myself in a completely dark room, there was one occasion that, for whatever reason, made me drop the controller. Everything else was pretty on-par with "I bet there's a jump scare coming", but that one part underground got me. Since then, I can't recall a single time when a jump-scare got me.
Dude... Fear was right on my threshold.. 10% more and i woulda walked away. Great game!!
 

Stg-Flame

Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
2,622
180
106
See, I never saw F.E.A.R as a horror game. It was an incredibly fun 'pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey' simulator when using the stake gun and a really fun FPS, but I never got the feeling it was meant to be scary. Fun game though that still holds up today.
 

[DHT]Osiris

Diamond Member
Dec 15, 2015
6,654
2,494
146
RE1 dogs was the only jumpscare I had the slightest bit of appreciation for, since it was actually relevant to the game and well thought-out. All other jumpscares are amateur hour garbage of the lowest level.

As for horror itself, Shalebridge Cradle in Thief 3 completely broke me for horror games. FEAR*, RE*, Prey, Stalker*, Alien: Isolation, Dead Space, Evil Within, Metro*, SOMA, Outlast*, Amnesia, and probably a half dozen other 'horror games' I've played since have all fallen as wheat to the scythe. Nary a concern, blink, or jump between the lot of them.
 

mopardude87

Senior member
Oct 22, 2018
647
154
76
Bioshock 1 was great for jumpscares but my casted scream vote for COD WW2. Get to a particular Zombie wave level and these fly infested fast running zombies come after you. Sometimes a hoard. The first time was when a few strays came out of no where between rounds. Then it happened again with the juggernauts with the club when they run after you lol.
 

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