The story is in the classic Simpsons style of storytelling. The family starts out their day perfectly normal-like before getting involved in something way over their heads. Featuring suspicious surveillance vans, mobile spy cameras disguised as bees, and creatures from outer space, these sort of shenanigans are typical occurrences for Homer and kin. The player gets to play as Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa, as well as the town’s local Kwik-E-Mart owner and family friend Apu Nahasapeemapetilon for some unknown reason as they all try to get to bottom of all this suspicious activity. The game does a good job of incorporating all of its mission types into tasks that relate to the story. This can include fetching evidence, tailing bad guys, even delivering nuclear bombs (in a safe manner, obviously).
The only problems I see with Hit & Run are minor. When driving without regard to human life through the streets of Springfield, it takes about seven to nine citizens being run over before the police decides to take notice. They are also incredibly easy to drive away from. But considering the fact that the police force in the show are about effective as a squirt gun in the middle of a forest fire, one could say that the game’s doing a good job in keeping true to the Simpsons universe. Also, the later levels are simply the beginning levels rehashed. Based on all the locations seen throughout the city through the show’s decades of being on air, there exists the potential for about ten levels given the size of each level, although there’s only about four or five.
The reason for widespread agreement that Grand Theft Auto III and San Andreas were the best in the series was because their emphasis was on mayhem and carnage as opposed to the mood-killing story of trying to make it in America seen in GTA 4. This change of pace in GTA also explains why series such as Saints’ Row have risen to prominence, a series that would rather see you in the middle of a wacky gang war than in a run down apartment in Liberty City. It’s games like Saints’ Row and the original GTA’s, as well as shows like The Simpsons that aren’t trying to be serious, and trying to play video games seriously is one of the biggest contradictions since Starburst. That wasn’t a plug for Starburst, I just really like Starburst, I swear. The Simpsons Hit & Run epitomizes what’s most important in a video game: fun. When you have a game that encompasses mayhem, stunts, action, comedy, and Homer Simpson dancing around in a devil’s outfit singing “I am the evil Homer”, everything really does come up Milhouse.