The Simpsons was aired on national television a good fourteen years ago, and since then there has been many attempts to create a video game representation of the ever-popular TV show. All of these attempts haven’t raised up to much more then average, and this is something VU Games and Radical Entertainment are trying to change with there latest The Simpson’s: Hit and Run, a solid driving action title for the Xbox.
Whenever companies have gotten licenses off TV shows and movies, the games never seem to fully live up to gamers’ expectations. These games usually have decent sales (because of the title), but never usually receive much praise from us reviewers. Luckily in The Simpson’s: Hit and Run we can finally find a game that takes a TV License and doesn’t screw it up, but makes something out of it.
The game starts off with a pretty long cut scene explaining the games plot and getting you in the mood to get going on a Simpsons’ adventure. The story itself doesn’t really seem like a normal storyline for The Simpsons, but it does do a nice job of mixing things up and it does keep things progressing throughout the game.
We have seen a steady trend that shows game developers taken ideas for games that have been successful and implementing these ideas into their games. The GTA games have been one of the biggest games that developers have taken notes from, and this is very much apparent in the Simpson’s Hit and Run. Developer Radical Entertainment has taken a lot from the GTA series, and has really turned it around and done a nice job of implementing a lot of these ideas into this title.
One of the most apparent similarities between the two games are the linear mission designs that really is quite simple yet effective. You are given one main objective in which you need to complete but are given the open-ended environment that we all adored in the GTA series. I am not saying that it feels as solid or crisp as Grand Theft Auto but it does still give you a good feel for a free roaming type game.
As you can probably tell from the game box and the title there is quite a bit of driving to be done in the game. Not only do you drive from mission to mission but you may also have to race to objectives as well as just driving around the town aimlessly in search of side missions or just to drive around for the heck of it.
There are a lot of extras that you can get in the game, that really help give you other things to do rather then follow the path of the game. You collect money throughout the game and this helps you buy cars, clothes, and other things that may be minor extras for the game but really does give the game a lot more replay value then if they had left that out.
You are not stuck in the car (thankfully), if you choose you can walk around and run to different locations. As you can probably tell the game does sound like GTA with the Simpson’s characters and for the most part that is what it is. The game does have a much more arcade feel to it, but for the most part it is GTA with bright colors and Homer. So you’re probably wondering if it is so much like GTA then it is probably just as good. Well there is a lot of good going on in the Simpsons but it’s still not anywhere close to the GTA standards. The game does start to really feel repetitive and the "free" feeling that you get in GTA isn’t as strong in this one.
Many times the gameplay of a game doesn’t match up with the graphics of the game, and that can really hurt some people’s views on certain titles. For GTA the graphics didn’t have to be anything impressive, just average, and this is exactly what happens in the Simpsons Hit and Run.
The graphics of the Simpsons: Hit and Run don’t look overly great but what they do is make things easy on the eyes. The character models of The Simpsons aren’t the best in the world, they could have been better, but for the most part they do somewhat represent the characters from the TV Show, but still plenty room for improvement.
The environments are the games saving grace, because they really do an excellent job of keeping things fresh around the city of Springfield. The environments are very nicely detailed and no two parts of town look alike, so it won’t feel like your driving around the same areas over and over again.
Overall the graphics of The Simpsons are really nothing special, but everything does come together nicely to create a solid looking title that is about average in all of the graphical categories.
The game is really one of those arcade style titles that was made to be fun, and for the most part the game comes through and produces a pretty fun game. The one thing that I disliked about Hit and Run is that the missions start to really get repetitive and a lot of the missions feel very uninspired and boring. With that being said there is a lot of good stuff going on in the game that end up making up for some of the mishaps, and makes for a pretty fun game.
The Simpsons: Hit and Run is a solid title, that isn’t anything great or revolutionary, but it is a good game that does well in all categories. If you are a fan of The Simpsons then you will probably find it a good investment to go after this title.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.