I’ve been working at Kotaku for five years. In those five years, I have posted hundreds of video game screenshots. I’ve taken hundreds more that never saw the light of day. UNTIL NOW.
In honor of Gawker Media Senior Week, I went back through my screenshot folders to find and share some bad screenshots, and to explain why they’re bad. I didn’t go back TOO far, so these are mostly from the last couple of years. Enjoy.
This is a prime example of what I call “The Dogmeat Photobomb.” I actually wound up using this pic in an article, and some commenters thought the dog was photoshopped in.
Here’s another Dogmeat Photobomb that I couldn’t use. Dogbutt photobomb
This shot is from Final Fantasy XIV, but it could be from any MMO. MMO combat is hard to screenshot, you guys.
I needed a screenshot of this guy in the grey shirt for this article, but every time I got close he’d get weirded out and react. Nature photography is also challenging.
I like this screenshot from Until Dawn because the text is so outstanding while the image is so blurry and weird and bad.
I really wanted a hero shot from The Banner Saga 2, but I caught her mid-blink. (This happens A LOT.)
(See? Much better.)
Seriously, I have so many eyes-closed shots. Looking good, Cassandra.
I know, Evie. I’m frustrated too.
Sorry, Chief Shen.
This is a good example of “I captured an amazing moment… if you can tell what the hell is going on.”
The first of a five-part series entitled “Kirk tries to get a usable screenshot of the ‘Pet D-Dog’ prompt.”
I think this is the one I wound up using. It’s not great.
Turns out it is difficult to take screenshots of characters in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst without them looking like weird mannequins.
A classic example of “too slow on the draw.” The Just Cause 3 logo appears on the plane’s wing in a cool way, but quickly blows away in the wind. I took too long getting to the screenshot button.
I’m not sure if this is technically a BAD screenshot, but it sure is a screenshot that I took.
I think this is a screenshot of the Arkham Knight? Thanks, motion blur.
I wanted to have a romantic moment with Triss, but Geralt drank a ton of potions in the preceding fight and looked like a horror movie.
I have a weird number of Stardew Valley screenshots that are like this. I don’t know.
According to the file name, this is a screenshot from Rise of the Tomb Raider. Okay.
I have a surprising number of Uncharted 4 screenshots where one character looks skeeved out by the other.
I kept trying to get cool aerial screenshots in Just Cause 3, but it’s hard to screencap while not dying.
Part of another series I was working on: “The Needy Civilians of Tom Clancy’s The Division”.
This is from Alien: Isolation. Almost all of my screenshots from that game are of weird wall-art and bad graffiti. Very few of the alien.
This shot is from The Witcher 3, and it is just a weird, dumb, unclear mess. I have so many screenshots that are just “bad” without being “interesting bad.” This one can stand in for the rest.
Geralt is going to sneeze.
It’s hard to capture what Heather Graham looks like in Black Ops Zombies when there are huge guns in the way of everything.
I have SO many Destiny screenshots that are just… like this. Why did I take this screenshot? Because it was a lot of heavy ammo in one place?
I also have an embarrassing number of screenshots of times when i dominated a crucible match. Good job, tiger! You did it!
An unusual number of my screenshots are just black screens. This one’s from Destiny. Promise.
Change.org to get Sony to make the PS4’s “screenshot taken” notification invisible in subsequent screenshots
PC games do it, too!
My attempts to capture the perfect moment in Life is Strange wound up creating some very nice sequences:
I have countless more, but I think that’ll do it. Feel free to share your own bad screenshots in the comments below.