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The Simpsons: Hit & Run was remade in Unreal Engine and it looks phenomenal

The Simpsons: Hit & Run is the best video game to come out of the iconic TV series and one fan felt that it deserved the remaster treatment.
For those of a certain age, 2003's The Simpsons: Hit & Run is an absolute classic, a child-friendly (or should that be parent-friendly?) version of GTA 3, featuring less blatant criminal but just as much humour and playability.

The game was a huge success at the time, and its reputation has only grown over the last 18 years since its release, partly because no other Simpsons game has come close to capturing what makes the Simpsons so great and partly because it was just a really well-made game.

Now one fan of the title, who also happens to be a game developer, has taken it upon himself to remaster the game in Unreal Engine 5, boasting the full original map, Homer, drivable cars, and even a first playable mission.

Simpsons hit and run remaster video
Ward was able to recreate the entire map using assets from the original 2003 game. (Picture: YouTube / reubs)

So good was the result of his effort that the game's original lead designer, Joe McGinn, gave a ringing endorsement. In a comment left under the YouTube video McGinn called the results "amazing", adding that it "really gives a taste of what a full modern remaster could be. Impressive work!"

The work is that of Reuben Ward, an Unreal developer, and in the 12-minute video, he details the steps taken to bring the game, that was originally available on GameCube, PS2, Xbox, and PC, to the present-day standards with all the graphical bells and whistles expected from a modern game -- even adding a first-person mode.

Simpsons_hit_and_rtun_2.jpg
Exploring Springfield was a highlight of Simpsons: Hit & Run and one captured beautifully in this remake. (Picture: YouTube / reubs)

The process described looked surprisingly easy -- likely the mark of any good developer -- and involved a number of inventive techniques to rip the game's original graphic and sound assets and bring it to the Unreal Engine.

Rather than an attempt to remaster the entire game, Ward looks to create a small demo; first rebuilding the map, then introducing Homer, and then drivable vehicles, before adding side quests such as collecting coins and Itchy and Scratchy cards. The cherry on top is a remake of the original game's first mission which sees Homer heading to Apu's grocery at the behest of Marge.

Simpsons hit and run remake remaster unreal engine
Ward recreated the game's first mission. (Picture: YouTube / reubs)

It is pretty impressive stuff and is just the latest in a series of remasters Ward has made, with his channel featuring videos of him making a GTA V clone and remaking Skyrim.

But what are the chances of actually seeing a Hit & Run remaster? Very little no matter the enthusiasm, at least according to Simpsons writer Matt Selman. Speaking to IGN in July of this year Selman explained that such a remaster would become need to navigate "a complicated corporate octopus" to make happen.

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