Guerrilla Games has come under a bit of fire after admitting that screenshots of the Killzone 2 released last week had been retouched.
Guerrilla's Seb Downie protests on the PS3 forum: "They are only the tiniest bit touched up." He admits there was "a little bit of colour-correction done and some minor polish, but nothing major. Still very close to reality and it looks better in motion in my opinion."
Of course, the knee-jerk reaction is rather negative. After the original Killzone 2 trailer turned out to be "target rendering", the production of retouched screenshots was bound to rub people the wrong way.
However, Downie's argument shouldn't be dismissed. As anyone who has ever captured footage or screenshots directly from console hardware, or recorded video or images using shakycam, can attest, colours do need to be corrected because of the often wildly differing settings and characteristics on either side of the hardware interface.
You may remember that around the time of the PS3 launch we took some screen-grabs from PS3 review code and they appeared washed out, even drab. When we took the shots the first time, they looked absolutely fine, so we published them, only to discover that when viewed on other screens the result was significantly inferior. Once the colour had been re-balanced, they looked as they should.
So, does this mean Killzone 2 looks exactly as it does in the screenshots? Not necessarily. But it doesn't mean Guerrilla was trying to pull a fast one, either, which seems worth pointing out.
Killzone 2 is due out during, er...well, that's another matter entirely.