The Simpsons: Hit & Run was a GTA-clone released in 2003 that would go on to sell over 3 million copies worldwide. Today, nearly two decades later, Hit & Run is fondly remembered and many hope the game will get remade or remastered. One fan decided he was tired of waiting and in a week built a demo of what a Hit & Run remake could look and play like using Unreal Engine 5.
This impressive gameplay demo was created by Reubs, a big fan of the original Hit & Run who spent years as a kid playing the PS2-era classic. So he set out to recreate the game using Unreal Engine 5. First, he used a tool created by another developer, Lucas Cardellini, that allowed Reubs to export the original Hit & Run map into a file type that would work in Unreal. After that, Reubs up-ressed some textures using AI, while he recreated a few textures by hand. The end result, after he also turned on ray tracing, is a clean and gorgeous recreation of the original Springfield map.
He then used pre-made models and assets he found online, like a Homer model, Unreal car buggy, and stylized trees, to quickly put together a playable build. After that, it was just a matter of adding in more details and features. He ripped the audio from the game to give Homer and others in the demo voices. Reubs also programmed coins and collectibles, as seen in the original game. He even went in and added some of the gags that can be found in Hit & Run. Finally, he was able to use all this to recreate the original opening mission from the game.
The end result looks awesome. It also makes me want a fully funded, professionally made remake of the game. If a fan using cobbled-together assets can pull off something this impressive in a week, I can only dream of what a large team with a decent budget and few years could create.
*Insert Homer salivating gif.*
Sadly, it can’t be downloaded anymore because the creator pulled the original link to it due to “copyright concerns.” I’m not shocked some lawyers at Disney might have sent a nasty email over something that does contain a ton of assets ripped right from the game. Thankfully, this being the internet, I assume there are places where you can still find the demo.
As for an official remake, it could happen but seems unlikely. In a July interview with IGN, longtime Simpsons writer Matt Selman told the outlet that he would love a remake of Hit & Run, but that actually getting it made would involve a “complicated corporate octopus.” Sidenote, that’s my least favorite Aquaman villain.