10 Most Effective Jump Scares In Sci-Fi Video Games

9. Elite: Dangerous - Warping In Front Of A Sun

Iron Lung Eye
Frontier Developments

Most of the jump scares in this article are the result of heavily scripted scenes. Which makes sense - it's easier for a developer to manipulate the player's emotions when they control every aspect of what's unfolding on-screen.

However, not all the entrants on this list are so carefully choreographed. Instead of pre-planned frights, these are gloriously terrible moments where the game's systems combine to create a moment of pure, unscripted terror - system shocks, if you will. (Sorry, couldn't resist).

Which brings us to the inevitable moment a neophyte Elite player accidentally flies their ship into the path of a sun.

Elite: Dangerous has won fans across the world for its no-nonsense approach to sci-fi space-faring. The game very much leaves it up to the player to 'git gud', letting them make mistake after mistake in their quest to explore the galaxy. One of the most common mistakes players make is pointing their ship in the direction of a nearby star before entering hyperspace.

Dropping out of hyperspace to see a celestial fireball looming over their ship is a moment Elite's players are unlikely to forget, and a heart-stopping reminder that games are at their most memorable when things go very, very wrong.

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Hello! My name's Iain Tayor. I write about video games, wrestling and comic books, and I apparently can't figure out how to set my profile picture correctly.