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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.

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CaptainCamper1327d ago

King of the bullshot: The War Z

victoryscreeeeeech1326d ago

I dont know about that game, why is it a bullshot?

inveni01326d 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-1327d ago

This practice needs to Stop.

ScubbaSteve1327d ago

Yea! Kotaku really needs to stop writing articles it's getting pretty ridiculous. Also, the deceptive marketing screenshots are pretty bad too.

Welshy1327d 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.

mttrackmaster381326d ago

N4g's community isn't too good either honestly.

iamnsuperman1327d 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".

Megaton1327d 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_Gamer1326d ago

Exactly, It's kinda funny how 360 fanboys use those bullshots to claim Gears of War looks better than Uncharted, lol.

WeskerChildReborned1327d ago

The devs need to give an actual presentation for how the game looks like on each console.

MariaHelFutura1327d ago

I don't know why anyone would disagree w/ that.

Beastforlifenoob1326d ago

@maria
Maybe the clicked the wrong button? Not even kidding happend to me about 3 times

jetpacksheep1327d 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.

UnwanteDreamz1327d ago

It's misleading, being a popular practice doesn't make it right.

sheep

porkChop1326d 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.

Norrison1326d ago

Don't know why people disagree, it's true.

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