Bullshots are perfectly legal. 20 years ago those would have been a huge risk for the company creating them due to backlash from gamers and gaming journalists alike (just look up Outpost or Command and Conquer: Tiberium Sun and how it turned out for them), but ever since the infamous Killzone 2 trailer, it seems like the publishers felt that the backlash is weaker than the cash the fake trailers generates in sales. Though if they do it too often or too obviously, then it still may backfire on them, especially on the long run when the lost trust of the more seasoned players generates a lower baseline for the sales.
Sony got plenty of blowback from those E3 target trailers. Some people still bring them up. Ever since then, Sony has made sure to at least use in-engine footage, and clearly label it.
I think where it has gotten really bad is this gen. We've always had bullshots and target vids, but not until this gen have we seen publishers just getting away with it almost scot-free. Maybe a Youtube vid here or there, but no backlash from gaming "journalists" or the gaming public at large. The two largest offenders early this gen are Ubisoft and MS.
Ubisoft was pretty bad with trailers and gameplay vids that were incredibly downgraded by the time gamers actually got their hands on the demos/games. Ubisoft did get a little blowback, at least when it came to Watchdogs.
MS is the worse, as they actually had game demos running on HW that was much more advanced than the XBO, trying to push it off as the actual XBO HW, most likely to try and downplay the difference in power between it and the PS4. They even went so far as to bring their bogus demos on the Jimmy Fallon show, to a nationwide audience, trying to push it off as real XBO gameplay. Gaming journalists never even addressed it, obviously they were paid off well, and because of fanboy console wars, Xbox fans just excepted the devious action as ok.
They usually use "in engine footage" which means absolutely nothing but is meant to mislead stupid people. But I guess that's marketing for you.
In-engine does mean something. It's using the same engine the game is run on, and in the case of 1st party games, is running on the actual HW. It's usually just for showing cutscenes, where the dev is controlling the action and camera, so all of the HW is going into creating that one scene. It's why it looks a little better than the actual gameplay.Last edited by thismeintiel - on 24 March 2018