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.
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.
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.
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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