A semi-open world delight of comedy, exploration and car-crashing, The Simpsons: Hit & Run was the average 90’s kid’s G-rated Grand Theft Auto, the series which inspired Hit & Run’s creation.
Alternating through various levels based on the town Springfield, you play as members of the Simpsons family (and Apu for some reason) as you navigate a conspiracy surrounding aliens, giant wasp cameras and brainwashing cola. Video games.
In an interview with GAME, Hit & Run’s senior game designer Joe McGinn, was asked about his thoughts on whether he’d like to see a remake or remaster as producer, Vlad Ceraldi, previously mentioned he’d like to see the game on modern systems. McGinn gave the answer a lot of us have been thinking:
Of course – I would love to have it myself on my Nintendo Switch! Having said that, the PC version – if you can find it – not only works on modern versions of Windows, it is compatible with some pretty amazing mods.
On what changes he’d like to see specifically in a remake or remaster, McGinn would be set on at least keeping the driving mechanics as they are, which many would definitely agree on. The powersliding-heavy driving style is part of why Hit & Run is still so beloved. What he would change though is more in performance and the non-driving aspects of gameplay.
If it’s a remaster, I’m all about the frame-rate. Don’t change the art style – it’s pretty authentic to the show – but give me 60 fps. I think games just look and feel better that way.
If it’s a remake, that’s a whole other kettle of three-eyed fish. I suppose making a single cohesive, connected environment, that would be a natural these days. But the big focus would be improving the out-of-car gameplay. Hit & Run was our team’s first “platformer” gameplay, so the camera and player mechanics were a bit rough around the edges. I’d love to have another crack at making Mario-level smoothness in the platforming camera and animations so that the running parts felt as good as the driving.
Before the idea of a sequel was finally taken off the table, the team even had some interesting gameplay prototypes that could’ve been brought to a Hit & Run 2, like having trailers attached to your car for fun, physics-fueled mayhem.
A read of the full interview is definitely recommended here. In days like the early 2000’s, it was often rare to see video game teams share this much passion about their work and it’s still heartwarming to read.
With the Nintendo Switch giving new life to so many old titles recently, it’s safe to say at this point that nothing is off the table until said otherwise. For now, there’s only hope.