Fan project: The Simpsons Hit & Run as an open world in the UE5

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New Zealander Reuben “Reubs” Ward, who calls himself the “Remaker of Video Games”, has a new project. The almost 20 year old action game The Simpsons Hit & Run is set to live in Unreal Engine 5 as a prettified open-world title with online co-op. However, the remake will not be published.

The checklist for the Simpsons open world game

After the extremely positive response to the video showing the first attempts at a remake of the Simpsons classic, Reubs now wants to go all out and has turned it into a project with the following ambitious checklist:

  • Open World Map
  • Better vehicles
  • Online multiplayer
  • Quests and dialogues
  • Remastered graphics

First, the map sections loaded individually in the original should be combined into an open-world map. In order to explore this large map, the vehicles in the game should be optimized, which is a difficult part due to the physics involved. Instead of alone, the missions should also be possible together in an online co-op mode. To implement quests and dialogues, the developer uses the opportunity to advertise his own fee-based tool “Narrative”. The last point is the revision of the game graphics with new textures and “RTX Graphics”, a description of the possibilities with current GeForce graphics cards.

The developer demonstrates in the first video of the project the progress.

It won't be playable for everyone

Reubs clarifies one detail in the video in advance: To the disappointment of many, the project will remain just such. The remake will not be offered as a download to play. For copyright reasons alone, this would also not be legally possible.

Thanks to preliminary modding work, Unreal Engine and AI, things are progressing quickly

The developer was happily surprised at how easily and quickly the first steps in Unreal Engine 5 could be achieved. Converting and importing the old map data to a first test drive in the game world that has not yet been textured took just one hour. However, the preparatory work done by the modder Colou, who had already created the maps for Simpsons Hit & Run per Mod.

Shortly thereafter, the textures were imported and the basis of the game world was in place. However, Reubs decided to make an island out of Springfield, which should simply make the work on the remake easier. In addition to water simulations from the Unreal Engine, trees were added via plugin. The textures were embellished using AI upscaling.

A lot is possible with modern tools

The project impressively shows how relatively easy and fast a remake with polished graphics and various improvements can be implemented thanks to modern tools. This is a slap in the face for the creators of Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition because their remake not only looks bad, it plays bad and was ripped apart by user reviews on its recent release.