A jump scare is never a fun thing to experience. It’s only once you’ve experienced it and you hand the controller to a family member or friend to play it that the scene has any form of value for the sadist among you. There have been many jump scare moments in games over the years, and below I’ve detailed a few jump scares that stood out for me:
Dead Space – The benchmark in scares
There are many moments in Dead Space that’ll provide you with jump scares. Whether it’s your first encounter with a Necromorph, or whether it jumps out at you out of nowhere several hours in to the game – it’s going to happen. There is however nothing quite as sneaky and creepy as the moment you go to your safe haven where you are about to upgrade your weapon using the work bench. Once done the camera zooms out to show what’s been lurking behind you the whole time. Your heart drops through the floor. (Head to 9:30 below)
Thief – Peek-a-boo
The reboot of Thief is generally a very unmemorable experience. It was an old formula that got pushed into a modern era and simply just ended up being somewhat of a borefest. There is however one standout moment and that’s when you get told, quite early on I might add, that you have to visit the Moira Asylum. It’s a creepy place with several locked doors. Before entering any door you peek through a keyhole to observe what’s on the other side. On partiuclar door has you doing this when a ghostly figure appears out of nowhere, telling you that you should not be there. You’ll die a little on the inside.
P.T. – Lisa wants to say hi
Oh Konami, what this game could have been. All we have is one of the best and creepiest experiences a demo has ever provided. If you played P.T. you’ll be well aware that it was a glimpse at what Silent Hills would have been, you also very likely would have met Lisa for the very first time and it was not fun. You’re generally trying to solve a puzzle when she pulls you around and you see that ugly mug of hers. Yeah, most of YouTube posted videos of people screaming – it was scary, okay?
Resident Evil – How much is that doggie in the windo… *SMASH*
Everyone has their first jump scare experience and this was mine. Up to this point jump scares weren’t really a thing in games, but Resident Evil changed all that. You’re playing as either Jill or Chris, early on in the game while still trying to get the hang of the tank controls, when you finally move forward and a dog comes crashing through a window. At that point you’re so freaked out and flustered that you’re spinning in one area shooting the walls in your effort to calm yourself down somehow. Shinji Mikami – the man that made many a gamer fearful of passing any window in a survival horror. That bastard. It goes without saying that in the GameCube remake (or recent remaster you might have played) it’s changed up slightly in terms of timing, and it’ll catch you out again.
Mortal Kombat – Krypt Monster Munch
You’ve just played the hell out of Mortal Kombat and you’ve earned yourself some credits – it’s time to visit the Krypt to unlock some awesome goodies! “Hmm… let’s unlock, this one here, and that one there… oh, I have enough left for one more, let’s make my way over h… *WRAAAGH!*. Heart attack. Dead. Thanks Ed Boon, I’m glad that you think it’s funny.
Five Nights at Freddy’s – Fluffy teddy time
Alright, quite honestly, I never played this, but I’ve seen it appear on YouTube many a time and when a game is basically based around jump scares it needs a spot on a ‘jump scares’ list. It comes down to you visiting a fictional restaurant named Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. You are a night time security guard who needs to play with tools and security cameras in order to survive the onslaught of crazy ass animatronic teddy bears. I’ve seen lots of screaming and jump scares on YouTube, so it must be a little freaky.
Resident Evil 2 – SLUUUUURP *SMASH*
Yes, it’s time for the sequel of Resident Evil to make a showing, because it had its fair share of jump scares too. Many players will recall the zombies bashing their arms through the window in a narrow passage and it was scary, but the Licker jumping through the mirror glass in the Police Station – that was fainting material. You’d be minding your own business, with the music all being chilled and then it happens once you pick up a piece of a puzzle. Another Mikami classic.
Eternal Darkness – It’s a bloodbath
There’s never quite been a game like Eternal Darkness since it appeared on the Nintendo GameCube. It’s a horror game with a bit of a twist as it plays with the sanity of the characters in the game, but also very much with your own because of its fourth wall moments. At some point Alexandra Roivas, one of the main protagonists in the game, must investigate a room with a bathtub in it. Examine it and she sees herself in a bathtub filled with blood for a second or two, along with a screech from a terrified woman. It sends shivers down your spine
Dino Crisis – Awe, T-Rex is hungry *SMASH*
Mikami strikes again! This time he’s replaced the undead with the prehistoric. In the original Dino Crisis Regina is just going about her business, solving another puzzle (yeah, I see the Mikami recipe too) when a hungry enormous T-Rex comes bashing through a window (you see the Mikami ‘shattered window’ effect trade?). Thankfully this happens quite deep into the story with a few shotgun shells bringing a quick end to this pee your pants moment.
There you have it, some of the best jump scares in gaming we’ll never forget. I’m sure there are plenty more from games such as Alien Isolation, Outlast, Condemned, Slender and more. You can tell us which jump scares will forever be etched into your mind.