Donut Team churning out quality once again — I see you!
Simpsons Hit and Run gave us a lot, praise Radical Entertainment, we didn’t deserve this. However, only having three maps to play? That kind of sucked. Simpsons Road Rage, a game that came out two years prior had double the maps and all of them were much larger in size. That being said, I do find the maps of Hit and Run to be better designed and far more interesting… but still, only three maps?!
Never fear, Donut Team is here and they’ve remade four of the six worlds in Road Rage playable with their mod Hit and Run called Road Rage Returns! It’s not just a map pack though, they crafted a custom story mode complete with collectibles and side quests for each world! You’ll get to play as Homer, Moe and Snake; each character trying to fulfill their own purpose in life but all running into similar predicaments that might just be eluding to a bigger problem in the Donut Team alternate universe being crafted.
So our story starts off in Evergreen Terrace and, “Lisa has left home without her science project. Can you get it to her?” Marge asks. I know what you’re thinking, this sounds like the second mission of Hit and Run but no! I think Donut Team used this mission base just to subvert our expectation because when you travel back to the Simpson’s home, an orange Honor Roller takes off and we have to follow it. This is one of those green bar missions where you have to stay under a certain distance away. If you succeed, you’ll have an interaction with Milhouse, finding out he’s the one who stole Lisa’s project. Man, what a terrible way to flirt.
So from here on out it becomes very clear that dialogue has been chopped and screwed to form brand new conversations. It can sound pretty hilarious at time and really reminds me of the episode of South Park where Chef’s dialogue is rearranged or a YouTube Poop. I think this really adds to the charm of the mod by showing just how far the creators were ready to go to keep authenticity. They could have just used text boxes to convey their message but no… NO!
Rolling around Evergreen Terrace with the Hit and Run driving physics is pretty awesome as well, though I did enable the ‘resetting car repairs it’ cheat from Lucas’ Launcher. There’s just so much traffic on the road, you know? It’s like it a holiday weekend or something. Not only that but several missions make you ram ranch your car into other vehicles so grey smoke is always billowing.
The next level has you playing as Moe in the Entertainment District helping out the frequent patrons of his bar with their woes. Barney left his car at his Bowlarama but slept outside of Moe’s and Homer has a stroke or something. I’m still not sure what happened with him but his voice lines get all slopped up and Moe just barely recognizes that somethings off with his dialogue.
Visually, this level is the most striking out of the three. I think having all the new buildings adds to the design immensely because there’s just so many visual queues to latch onto. Unlike Evergreen Terrace which was longer and more spread out, the Entertainment District has a tighter layout with many more opportunities to use shortcuts. I felt like a pro using time save strats and what not by the time the last mission played out.
There’s a joke in this level that goes to elaborate lengths to pull off. If you talk to Bart in the mini-golf area, he’ll talk about how he wants a cellphone. Moe, being the nice guy he is, begins his collectathon and retrieves a cellphone like thirty items later. After he gets his hands on one, Moe takes it to Bart then heads back towards his bar. What do you know, Bart uses the cell to prank call Moe, who recognizes what Bart’s done before he gets to the punchline and takes off after him. Take a freaking bow, Donut Team, for setting this one up. I was not expecting any new jokes like this.
The final level has you playing as Snake, the bandit who’s behind most of Springfield’s crime. For this last level, the dev team recognized that their community was pretty torn between seeing the dam or the power plant levels from Road Rage rebuilt so the team ended up combining the two into one custom level. The two themes lend themselves excellently to the new map. I figured the power plant was next to the dam for waste dumping purposes since Mr. Burns is a Mr. Bummer. My only wish was that the power plant showcased more interior design to compensate for the huge open areas outside of it. I think that would help with navigation purposes because I often got mixed up with where I was headed in the huge parking lot.
Snake’s set of missions by far have had the most attention to story telling applied to them. Each mission directly ties into the last and it ends up leading him down a rabbit hole where he could be seen more as a hero than a villain. His story arc is does end on a bit of a cliff hanger though, but I think this might be intentional rather than just they haven’t built the rest yet.
There are these yellow, nuclear buses that are at the root of a lot of the chaos around Springfield and every character seems pretty bent on putting a stop to them. It’s sort of unclear what these buses are doing and other than pollution, we don’t know why the characters want them gone.
Donut Mod 4, the sequel to the mod discussed in my previous article, has a subtitle dubbed: the Conspiracy Update. I’m hoping that Donut Team will shed a lot more light in this custom narrative they’re weaving when their newest mod comes out. DM4 was announced last Spring already and was reslated for a Summer 2018 release after failing to hit their 2017 goal but this is to be expected of a mod this size and a team just making this in their freetime. I imagine the team has learned a lot while developing these two mods and I’m excited to see what they bring to the table with their latest work. Take as much time as you need guys, I’ll wait as long as you need me to!
I would easily give this mod my recommendation to long time Hit and Run players but with it’s new content, I could recommend this mod even if you haven’t played the base game. These three sprawling levels still have baseball cards, bonus missions, races and secrets to discover that I haven’t talked about in this review, so go play this right now to find out more! Also, follow @DonutTeam on Twitter to stay updated.