REVIEW: Simpsons Hit & Run (PC)
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: You get to play a Grand Theft Auto style game with your favorite Simpsons characters. There are multiple missions to complete, a plot line to advance, and plenty of side projects to attempt to complete.
PROS: Great 3D graphics, excellent audio, the full cast voice acting, and great writing. The price was even good at $30!
CONS: Controls suffer from being a console port, and a couple of times the automatic chase cam got it very wrong (such as being inside buildings.)
BOTTOM LINE: One of the best games of 2003. After your done with Knights of the Old Republic run out and get this game – you won’t be dissapointed.
It is impossible to talk about Simpons Hit & Run (H&R) and not bring up Grand Theft Auto 3 (GTA3) because H&R owes so much of what it is to that game (although it isn’t quite as good as Vice City in terms of open-ended puzzle solutions.) All the things that made GTA3 great are there: the open ended missions, the multiple paths to solution, and you even get the ability to go back in the game and complete parts you might have skipped. The good news is, it is much more friendly than GTA3 (no hookers or bloody killing sprees here!) The game takes place over a series of 7 missions, each of which features a different main character who must drive (this is a driving game) different vehicles to accomplish different tasks. There are a lot of racing missions, but there are also collection missions and destruction missions. If a mission gets too difficult, after a few attempts you can skip it and advance the plot. And besides the main plot, there are also plenty of extra things to do such as search for Bart’s gags setup randomly around the map and try to collect all of the Buzz Cola cards in order to get in to see a bonus Itchy & Scratchy movie.
The best part about it is that you get to see and play with all of the Simpsons characters in awesome 3D graphics. Springfield is fully laid out with all your favorite locations (including the never-ending tire fire) and it all looks the way it does on the show. Awesome! There are hundreds of show references that really make this a fanboy’s dream game (that means you Pete!)
There are a couple of downsides that keep the game from being absolutely perfect. First, this is a console game ported to the PC and the controls reflect that. The mouse not working on the menus, for example. There are some things you can do that are PC-specific (such as mouse look) but they are pretty few. The game is played in third-person perspective and sometimes the chase cam gets lost while on foot – I had to deal with it in a building a couple of times (and during one particularly frustrating time-based missions it was really annoying.) I would have liked the ability to move the camera around freely.
I finished the game in about 35 hours of gameplay and it never got boring – just when it would seem to become tedious something would change and keep it interesting. It was definately time (and money) well spent!
Filed under: Games
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