In an impressive display of dedication, Reuben "Reubs" Ward, a devoted fan of The Simpsons: Hit & Run, has fully remade the celebrated 2003 action-adventure game from scratch.
Using Unreal Engine 5, Reubs recreated every detail of the original Radical Entertainment game, which drew inspiration from Grand Theft Auto 3, and confirmed its completion in a recent YouTube video.
The ambitious project kicked off a couple years ago (thx IGN), following an early version that Reubs removed from online platforms to avoid potential legal complications with Disney. This prior iteration had caught the attention of Hit & Run's lead designer, Joe McGinn, who lauded Reubs' efforts, saying,
"Amazing what you accomplished! Really gives a taste of what a full modern remaster could be. Impressive work!"
Reubs' revamped version of The Simpsons: Hit & Run boasts a number of notable enhancements, such as redesigning the iconic Simpson family car to better match the game's artistic style, upgraded graphics, in-game cinematics, and a fully explorable open world.
Although the gaming community is eager to get their hands on this meticulously recreated fan-remake, Reubs has asserted that the game will not be released. In a video from 2022, he clarified, "This is a fan remake for entertainment purposes, this game will never be available to download. Please do not pester my poor Discord mods for a download link!"
In the two decades following the original game's launch, fans have occasionally called for an official remake of The Simpsons: Hit & Run, but such a project appears doubtful. Simpsons writer Matt Selman shared his thoughts on the issue in 2021, expressing that despite his desire to see a remastered version, the task would be akin to untangling "a complicated corporate octopus."
The game's original developer, Radical Entertainment, now under Activision's umbrella, is currently occupied with assisting other studios within Activision. With Microsoft's recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard, it's possible that Xbox chief Phil Spencer might tackle the undoubtedly complex licensing issues that could pave the way for an official remake.
As for what's on the horizon for Reubs, he hinted on Twitter that his sights are set on another retro game: Mindscape's 1997 Lego-themed open-world action-adventure game, Lego Island.
Even though fans might not be able to play Reubs' recreation of The Simpsons: Hit & Run, there's no doubt that his dedication and passion will continue to impress in future projects. I don't know though, the internet the way it is, these projects always have a way of seeing the light of day... eventually - legally or not.