New Halo 2 update bans cheaters

"Banhammer" nails down Halo 2 abusers and hackers; fourth auto-update available now and required for online play.

Master Chiefs have battled elites, brutes, and even the parasitic flood, but none of these enemies have been as deadly as some of the foes encountered in Halo 2's online play. These opponents can seemingly jump over Covenant dropships in a single bound, pass flags through walls, and even become invisible.

These undefeatable foes aren't some new alien species that have invaded the ruckus created by Bungie. They are hackers and modders, gamers who spend time improving their stats with cheats...at the expense of others. As with any high-profile game, cheaters will run rampant in an effort to "pwn n00bs" (defeat newbies, for the non-l337 speakers) and generally frustrate those who play fairly.

Bungie has not taken kindly to these folk.

Over the past several weeks, Bungie has threatened gamers who use illegal hacks that they will be banned from playing Halo 2 online. Though several have already been banned, cheating still remains.

Today, Bungie made its first major step toward making Halo 2 fair to the common man again. The developer released its fourth update to the game, downloadable through Xbox Live, which is focused on detecting modifications, illegal saved games, and various other hacks. The punishment? A permanent ban from Halo 2 online.

The download is required for Xbox Live play, and it fixes other in-game glitches that can be exploited.

Bungie puts its position on modded content in easy-to-read writing on its Web site: "It ruins the experience for legitimate players, and is almost universally used to cheat. If you want to play modded content with your friends, do it on System Link. If you log in to Live, you're banned. You've been warned."

For more information on Halo 2, read GameSpot's full review.

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