Simpsons Hit and Run: Remaster surprised creator

A longtime fan of The Simpsons: Hit and Run decided to remake the game in Unreal Engine 5 and Joe McGinn, the lead designer of the original title, is impressed with the feat.

Reuben Ward, an Unreal developer, recently became known on his YouTube channel after remaking games on Unreal Engine 5. Following an improved version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the developer’s latest project features a brilliant new remake of The Simpsons: Hit and Run.

In a comment on the YouTuber video, The Simpsons: Hit and Run lead designer Joe McGinn said, “Amazing what you’ve accomplished! It really gives a taste of what a complete modern remaster could be. Impressive work!” Those were the accolades for a project that apparently took the developer just a week.

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Ward started his remake of The Simpsons: Hit and Run with the Springfield game map. After importing the map using a tool created by another developer, Ward used a series of inventive shortcuts to remake the game’s outdated textures. Using an AI-based image resolution enhancement software and a bit of DIY photoshopping, he was able to reshape the entire map and give it a more modern feel. YouTuber even added some stylized trees to give the “new” Springfield from Hit and Run a little more life.

After the map, Ward began working on other elements, with the game’s initial playable character, Homer Simpson, who received some tweaks in the remake. The developer worked on coding advanced animations for the character and also enabled a first-person mode – because, as Ward so aptly puts it, “Why the hell not?”

The developer also made improved changes to the game’s user interface, added quests and collectibles, extracted audio from the original game for voice work on its characters, and enabled ray tracing. The entire package was then released by Ward as a playable demo. Unfortunately, however, the developer had to remove the demo due to copyright issues. Although you can’t play the modern version of Ward in this Simpsons classic, you can still watch the full video detailing the changes the developer made to the game on the Reubs YouTube channel.

With Simpsons Hit and Run approaching its 20th anniversary, fan-made remakes may be the closest we’ve come to a true modern remaster. We recently caught up with Simpsons writer Matt Selman, who explained why we wouldn’t be seeing a remake anytime soon. Selman explained that although “I would love to see a remastered version of [Simpsons Hit & Run]”, it would be “corporately complicated to try to make that happen”.

*Translated by Nicole Pereira

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