There are many different types of elements in horror gaming, but two of most popular styles of horror are jumpscaring and suspense. Both types of scares take a different approach, but have both been successful in scaring and thrilling the player. Overall, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. As a whole, which one is more triumphant in the gaming scene? Let’s compare the two elements of horror gaming.
Suspense is a style in horror gaming that has been around for years. The idea of building up tension within the game is one of the best things a horror game can do. The various Slenderman horror games are a perfect example of suspense. While there is a jumpscare included in these games, they mainly focus on building up the fear and tension with the player. This is what those types of horror games are most known for.
Every time a player collects a new page, the music builds up and the Slenderman becomes more and more aggressive and present. This slowly allows the player to gain fear and adrenaline. That way, when the actual scare happens, it makes it much more dramatic and terrifying than it would have been without all of the suspense-building.
When it comes to suspense, there has to be impeccable timing and the perfect balance in order to create a successful scare. If the suspense building is too long or too short, it will not have the desired effect on the player. Many games unfortunately have experienced this and have missed the mark. That is the biggest disadvantage to suspense in a horror game.
Going up against suspense-building in the horror genre of gaming is jumpscare-based games. Deservedly so, Five Nights at Freddy’s is currently one of the most popular jumpscare-based horror games. The entire series has relied on jumpscares for its fear factor, and has been mostly successful.
Jumpscaring in a horror game has to be done at the right amount, or it will fall flat completely and ruin the game. They can easily become repetitive and boring. However, the concept of having something pop in the player’s face and suddenly scare them with no warning can either make or break a horror game. It does quite the opposite of suspense building. Jumpscares having with no warning and attempt to make the player jump of their skin, and get their adrenaline running much quicker.
Five Nights at Freddy’s has been the most successful jumpscare-based indie horror game to date. All of the characters have their own unique scare that the player must try to avoid until the night ends. This game is an example of jumpscaring done right. Each games keeps the scares original, distinct, and random, which allows for something new and fresh in each release. Each character has individualized themselves with a certain type of jumpscare, which is something a lot of games have not done.
This game has created an entire sub-genre of gaming, and has had lots of fan games made after it. Jumpscares have been successful for this series, but not for every game in this style. Many games modeled in the FNAF or jumpscare style have not lived up to the same standard and have come short of success. It is a delicate balance that a game in this fashion must have in order to be successful.
Overall, both suspense and jumpscares have their pros and cons. Suspense is the perfect way to slowly build up adrenaline and make the final scare terrifying. The entire experience is tense and exciting. However, if it is not done right, this type of scare can backfire and be unsuccessful. Jumpscaring is a quick way to get the player’s blood pumping and make them jump out of their skin. If that jumpscares are not done currently, they can become repetitive and boring.
Let us know who you determine to be the winner in the comments!