Submitted by -Mezzo- 1085d ago | opinion piece

The Year’s Worst Bullshots, aka, Screenshots That Lied To You

Kotaku - It was back in 2005 that Penny Arcade first coined the term "bullshot", giving a definition to the practice of doctoring video game screenshots to make them look better than the game actually is.

You'd think the intervening seven years, the rise of the video trailer and a growing awareness of the practice would have seen bullshots go away, but no. They're still around, and still as bullshotty as ever. (Culture)

CaptainCamper  +   1085d ago
King of the bullshot: The War Z
victoryscreeeeeech  +   1085d ago
I dont know about that game, why is it a bullshot?
inveni0  +   1085d ago
I'm going to play devil's advocate here:

Bullshots are in all marketing. The reason is in order to more closely mimic what our eyes see when we look at these things in real-time. Let me give you an example. I am developing software for a group of hotels in a city near where I live. They keep handing me photos of their rooms, and all of the photos are terrible. So I go to take a photo. When I'm taking the photo, the room looks great. But when I get it back to my computer, what I see is wrinkled sheets, messed up dust ruffles, crooked pillows, marks on the walls, etc. The same happens with their restaurant. They have great looking desserts. But when I take a photo, I see that the strawberry isn't centered. The whipped cream is leaning to the right. Rhubarb is an ugly color.

So I have to go out of my way to doctor the photos in a way that those problems aren't the focus of the image. Is it dishonest? It would be if I doctored them the same way McDonald's doctors photos of the Big Mac. But I just try to remove the things that are distracting that wouldn't be noticed in person anyway.

And that's what they do with these game shots. When playing the game, you won't notice that the explosion is a little low-poly. You won't notice that the texture on so-and-so's belt buckle is low-res. So they remove these issues from the screenshot in the interest of presenting the game so that it matches the experience we'll have during play.

No one complains about Rockstar not showing gameplay of the GTA games before release. All we get to see are doctored and prepared photos and cut scenes. When we buy GTA at midnight launch, we have no idea what we're getting. But we buy it anyway, because it's not the pretty screenshots that sell us. It's the game.

Just as you wouldn't date a girl from Match.com based on a single, weird-angled bathroom mirror photo, you shouldn't buy a game based on screenshots.
-Mezzo-  +   1085d ago
This practice needs to Stop.
ScubbaSteve  +   1085d ago | Funny
Yea! Kotaku really needs to stop writing articles it's getting pretty ridiculous. Also, the deceptive marketing screenshots are pretty bad too.
jessupj  +   1085d ago
I lol'ed

Bubble up
Welshy  +   1085d ago
I suggest we make a "The years worst Kotaku articles, AKA, the most sensationalist, knee jerk written bullshit".

All Kotaku are good at are leaking things and prying peoples business. The community is just plain terrible too, just read just about every comment section for any article.
mttrackmaster38  +   1085d ago
N4g's community isn't too good either honestly.
iamnsuperman  +   1085d ago
I agree it irritates me when these people release "screenshots" but they are not screenshots. I thought releasing CGI trailers was bad but at least on them they put at the bottom "Not actual game footage".
FarCryLover182  +   1085d ago
Pubs will never stop with their bull#@$% bullshots.
Megaton  +   1085d ago
Epic is the king of the bullshot. They always make the newest Gears game look a generation ahead. I think UE3 lends itself very well to bullshotting.
Awesome_Gamer  +   1085d ago
Exactly, It's kinda funny how 360 fanboys use those bullshots to claim Gears of War looks better than Uncharted, lol.
WeskerChildReborned  +   1085d ago
The devs need to give an actual presentation for how the game looks like on each console.
MariaHelFutura  +   1085d ago
I don't know why anyone would disagree w/ that.
Beastforlifenoob  +   1084d ago
Maybe the clicked the wrong button? Not even kidding happend to me about 3 times
jetpacksheep  +   1085d ago
With the exception of Halo 4 in the screens gallery all the other screenshots are just ultra settings PC screens. Companies use this to show off their game as best as they can, its common marketing sense.
UnwanteDreamz  +   1085d ago
It's misleading, being a popular practice doesn't make it right.

porkChop  +   1085d ago
They're just showing off the best version of their game. That's not misleading at all. I mean even when devs show gameplay they almost always specify whether it's console or PC footage. If anyone was actually mislead by any of those PC screens they're both blind and naive.
Norrison  +   1085d ago
Don't know why people disagree, it's true.
Walker  +   1085d ago
King of the bullshots is Halo 4, obviously .
The difference between gameplay and screenshots (BullShots) is "at least a generation" .
BanBrother  +   1085d ago
Play the start of Halo 4 and you will find there were no real bullshots.

I was amazed at how good it looked. Halo 4 looks a lot like those "bullshots". People who disagree haven't played it, so go right ahead.

EDIT: Has anyone looked at the article and seen the Halo 4 screen? Whether it is a bullshot or not, how could you pick that out amongst the sea of other screen-shots? Lol they want attention.
#6.1 (Edited 1085d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(8) | Report | Reply
Chard  +   1085d ago
Doesn't help when reviewers fail to call out developers on this stuff. Not many Far Cry 3 reviews talked about the console version shortcomings.
Kur0  +   1085d ago
In the end the gameplay is there and I feel like reviews should focus a lot more on gameplay over graphics. I got Far Cry 3 for PC anyways.
specialguest  +   1085d ago
Some of these bullshots that features enhanced graphics is like a glimpse into what we can expect from next-gen gaming.
Norrison  +   1085d ago
Most of the bullshots are PC footage, sometimes the final PC product looks better, but you can expect a decent jump if they don't realease next gen consoles too soon.
Commandar_Shepard  +   1085d ago
The Halo 4 one isn't a bullshot. The game actually has AA. And lol @ the BO2 screen with everything in the game.
SilentNegotiator  +   1084d ago
It absolutely did not have 16xAA as shown in that bullshot, however. The Halo series has always released bullshots rendered at native 1080p and insane amounts of AA.

- Here's one of Reach. COME ON, look at that! Reach's graphics didn't have half of the clarity.

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