A new Simpsons Hit & Run mod fixes one of the game's biggest issues some 18 years after the beloved driving game first hit consoles.

13:06, 18 Jan 2021

We're putting the "spring" back in Springfield some 18 years after The Simpsons: Hit & Run first came to GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC. Back at the height of popularity for Matt Groening's record-breaking cartoon, Radical Entertainment cashed in on The Simpsons' growing fanbase by combining it with the equally impressive success of Grand Theft Auto. Even if Hit & Run is held by many as their favourite driving game ever, the 2003 title was far from perfect. Now, a long-awaited mod has fixed one of its most annoying issues. 

The Simpsons: Hit & Run was a mission-based game that split the sprawling Springfield into three distinct areas. Although you could freely drive around in a variety of weird and wacky vehicles (anyone remember the car Homer designed?), getting from one area to the next included achingly long waiting times and boring loading screens. Since Hit & Run's release, there's been a lot of calls for a remake or even HD remastering, but for the time being, we're stuck with its original form. Still, one modder has managed to bring the maps together to create a unified version of Springfield.

 

What is the Simpsons Hit & Run mod?

A fully connected mod from Colou has appeared on Donut Team and finally stitches Springfield together in all its glory. By adding new transitional areas, Colou shows off how Homer can drive between the different maps without the need for loading screens. Well, it's only taken someone 18 years to do it. The mod is clearly a labour of love, with Colou keeping original gags and dialogue from the OG game. 

Colou has explained they want to carry on adding more mods to Hit & Run, however, it will come at a cost. They've admitted the game was never supposed to handle such large file sizes, meaning certain missions have been given the boot. Added to this, there are new day and nighttime variants of the maps, as well as a possible Halloween variant. Even though Colou warned "don't count on it" about the Halloween map, remember the final level was a zombie-infested version of the map as an easy highlight of Hit & Run. Importantly, the mod proves it's relatively easy to tweak Hit & Run to run even better in 2021.

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Will the Simpsons Hit & Run mod lead to a remaster?

As Colou continues tinkering, there's the problem that Hit & Run is getting increasingly expensive to buy for PC. Vivendi was eventually absorbed into Activision Blizzard, and with the ownership of rights being unclear, it's currently unavailable on any digital storefront. Console players have to dig out their old Xbox or PS2 if they want to make the most of Hit & Run's cartoon chaos. 

Returning to the idea of Hut & Run remake, original producer Vlad Ceraldi has teased its potential. Ceraldi said he'd imagine it appearing on multiple platforms, but ultimately, agreed it would be fun to revisit this world and the characters within. Although Hit & Run was effectively a Simpsonfied version of the critically acclaimed Grand Theft Auto 3, there are plenty of us out there who'd argue it's a superior game. Will we ever see a Hit & Run remaster, who knows? In the meantime, the likes of Colou keep reminding us what made it so great in the first place.

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Images via Vivendi Universal Games | YouTube Colou

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