How many people can honestly say they never spawned a tank, altered the gravity or entered a weapons cheat in a Grand Theft Auto game?
Probably about three, which perhaps explains why Rockstar have decided to take a refreshingly lenient approach to online cheaters in Max Payne 3.
The developers have announced in a post on the Rockstar blog that before they remove cheating gamers from the servers entirely, they will receive a warning.
Well, not so much a warning as a light exile; players caught using hacked saves, modded games or any other exploits will be quarantined to a ‘Cheater’s Pool’ leaderboard, instead of being allowed to take part in the main leaderboard competition.
That’s a pretty light-hearted approach to online cheating, which is usually considered the lowest of the low, particularly in the Call of Duty world.
However, once cheaters are forgiven and allowed out of the naughty corner, should they cheat again they will then receive the tried and true server ban that game fanatics have come to know and love.
The punishment will also include names being struck from leaderboards – a far more permanent penalty than the others.
Currently, the list of crimes worthy of being reported includes ‘invincibility hacks, infinite adrenaline, score cheating or doing anything else suspicious’.
This sort of thing, though necessary, shows exactly how much gaming has changed in the last ten years. In Rockstar’s San Andreas days, cheating was practically half the game; spawning rocket launchers and blowing up the FBI before jumping in the tank that had magically appeared behind you was essentially the reason 80% of people bought the game in the first place.
And even though Rockstar seem to have grown up a little bit, it’s nice to see they’re still a relatively easy-going bunch.