UPDATE 24TH AUGUST 2021: The creator of the Simpsons: Hit & Run fan remake has removed it from their Patreon due to copyright concerns.
Reuben "Reubs" Ward told Eurogamer they took the project down in order to keep their YouTube channel "in good standing." They confirmed this was a preventative measure, and that no company has so far been in touch to issue any threats or request a takedown.
ORIGINAL STORY 21ST AUGUST 2021: Remember The Simpsons: Hit & Run? The formative 18-year-old adventure hasn't aged well, but what if it was remade using the latest graphics tech?
New Zealand-based Unreal tinkerer and YouTuber Reuben "Reubs" Ward decided to challenge himself to to just that - well, the game's first mission, anyway - in just a week.
The video below runs through the creation process, and it's fascinating stuff. With the help of some nifty programs and an AI-powered texture upscaler, Reubs was able to get game's map up and running in Unreal 5, as well as Homer, a few NPCs, collectibles, and even vehicles. There's ray tracing for that fancy lighting, too, and of course the Duff Blimp flying overhead.
Reubs' goal was to remake the first mission of the game, called The Cola Caper, where Homer is sent by Marge to get icecream from Apu's Kwik-E-Mart. The end of the video showcases a playthrough of this brief mission.
Joe McGinn, lead designer of the original game, took to the YouTube comments to praise the work.
"Amazing what you accomplished!" McGinn said. "Really gives a taste of what a full modern remaster could be. Impressive work!"
Will The Simpsons: Hit & Run ever get a remaster? It seems unlikely - the game was published by Vivendi Games, which merged with Activision to create Activision Blizzard in 2008. Then there's Gracie Films to consider, and EA, which, McGinn notes, may still own the rights to The Simpsons video games.
For now, Reubs' The Simpsons: Hit & Run is the best we've got.