The Simpsons First Look

EA gave a brief glimpse of its new licensed action game at the LA-based party celebrating the animated sitcom's 400th episode.

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The newly announced Simpsons game may be the 22nd title based on the long-running animated Fox sitcom, but in developer Electronic Arts' opinion, you might as well think of it as the first. Simpsons games have been appearing regularly since the ill-fated Bart Vs. the Space Mutants stunk up the old 8-bit Nintendo way back when, but EA is attempting to "reboot" the franchise with an ambitious new action game, since it acquired the Simpsons video game license recently. We got a very early look at the new game, due out this fall, at a party celebrating the landmark 400th episode of the television series on Fox's lot in LA today.

Is this a sign of things to come?

EA isn't giving up the entire premise of the new Simpsons game yet, but it did say that the entire family (save Maggie) will be playable. (That's Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa, if you're keeping score.) Apparently, the Simpsons will realize just a few minutes into the storyline that they're actually trapped inside a video game, and they'll use that newfound freedom to envision new powers for themselves that they can access throughout the game's action levels. For instance, Homer will pick up calories throughout each level by picking up edible power-ups, and once his calorie meter is full, he'll be able to transform into the Homerball, a massive sphere of flab that can roll over and demolish almost any object or enemy. Later on in the demo level, we saw Homer pick up a chili pepper that turned him into a more powerful lava version of the Homerball. By contrast, Bart's special ability will be to transform into Bartman, which will let him glide around slowly with his cape. Naturally, he'll also have a slingshot projectile attack to use for ranged offense when the need arises.

The Simpsons' realization that they're imprisoned inside a game may inform their superpowers, but according to EA, it will more importantly inspire them to indiscriminately lampoon the video game industry (including EA itself, purportedly) and pop culture in general. Alas, representatives on hand weren't prepared to offer any examples of the kind of referential humor we can expect to see in the game, but a number of posters at the event amusingly inserted Simpsons characters into scenes from Medal of Honor, Batman Begins, Grand Theft Auto, and EverQuest, so we have a decent idea of the direction the game may be going in.

The level we did see was called "Around the World in 80 Bites" and centered on Homer eating his way through an international food festival in Springfield, which had him doing battle with a number of familiar characters, including Groundskeeper Willy, who was blocking the way to the next area. In addition to occasionally invoking the Homerball, Homer was able to attack with punches and kicks similar to those seen in the classic Konami Simpsons arcade game of yore. This particular area didn't show us a lot of the sort of referential humor that EA says will pervade the final product, but the game is still in a prealpha state, so this demo served as an early indication of the final gameplay more than anything.

Tommy Vercetti has nothing on Itchy and his homicidal tendencies.

On the upside, the demo level did give us a good look at the visual style EA is using, which looks like it will very faithfully re-create the appearance of the hit TV series. The characters are cel-shaded, of course, but EA is also implementing a technique that will essentially flatten the character models from whichever angle the camera is viewing them from, to attempt to re-create the 2D, hand-drawn look seen in the show. Speaking of capturing the show's essence, a number of the series' writers penned the script for the game--which will amount to nearly an hour of original cutscenes and dialogue, all voiced by the show's original actors. This will naturally be a family-rated game, but the Simpsons were said to be spouting fouler dialogue in the game than you'd expect from the show. The Simpsons' creative authority also supervised the creation of plenty of new characters and locations for the game, which will clearly range far beyond the nebulous confines of Springfield itself.

EA is referring to the 16 levels in the game as "episodes," and each one will take place in a new environment with a unique title and storyline. Each of these episodes will feature two Simpsons family members, and you'll be able to switch between the two at any time. What's more, a second player can grab a controller at any time, hit the start button, and commandeer Simpson number two for some split-screen action. We'll hope to get some hands-on time with this one in the coming weeks to find out how well EA is living up to its obviously serious commitment to this hallowed franchise. The Simpsons' newest game is due out in late fall of this year.

Discussion

238 comments
rallyry
rallyry

looks good. i love the simpsons, and simpsons hit and run was alrite

Gorilla97
Gorilla97

this game looks like it's going to be terrible, but i'm a simpsons freak. if gamespot rates it anything higher than a 5, i'll probably get it.

anihilatorX
anihilatorX

as a loyal fan of the simpsons i think i'll get this game. looks pretty interesting

Smoolander
Smoolander

thetraitor - is that you Mr T? How did that game version of the A-Team pan out?

p00phead
p00phead

This better be damn good last cartoon game i played was family guy it sucked

MattcattShooter
MattcattShooter

I'm sorry, traitor, but to say somthing as stupid as that, you would have to be a fool. Let's not kid ourselves here. This is the simpsons. The've been spouting sensless merchandise at us for years. And as loyal fans, I think we owe them to succumb to that spew, and bathe in it's spewyness! Are the words too big, Traitor?

thetraitor
thetraitor

anyone who buys this is a damn fool

sharpie_92
sharpie_92

if i were making the game i would make it so that you had to complete episodes from the cartoon from the series in the game. for example in the episode when the simpsons go to itchy and scratchy land they have to go on the rides and try to survive the robot attacks etc EA's game has great potential, it is very unique and sounds extremely entertaining. I'm hoping all the cut scenes are as funny as the show itself. Anyway if this game stays faithful to the show and EA stays with their gameplay ideas i think they are onto a winner here

pete_merlin
pete_merlin

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

caleythia
caleythia

I hope this ends up better than the absolutely terrible Family Guy cartoon (or many past Simpsons games). So far, the only game really worth playing was the old multiplayer arcade game.

R3V3N4N7
R3V3N4N7

love the Simpsons. EA, don't screw this up.

Irve
Irve

i'm thinking this will end up being as good as Superman returns .. Go bless EA for their polished but shallow productions

sanandreas44
sanandreas44

standcm12 the simpsons hit and run was a really bad game it was only good at the start and all the other simpsons games were bad im pretty sure this one will be pretty good

darkangel494
darkangel494

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Nstl
Nstl

And xbox live coast money! The PS3 network is free:-)) That what i like about PS3, its free online:-)

Nstl
Nstl

And xbox live coast money! The PS3 network is free:-)) That what i like about PS3, its free online:-)

jamalnos
jamalnos

Guys, please wake up and know the truth, Xbox 360 machine is less price than PS3, that is true but why? I will tell you. With Xbox 360 If you want to communicate by wireless you must buy it separately, if you want to attach removable memories cards or flashes you must buy another part separately, if you want to see HD movies you must buy another part separately, if you want to save game progress or any other files you must buy a HDD separately, beside no HDMI port yet, and that huge power adapter (where will you put it?). At the end your Xbox 360 will be like a spider web with the devices attached into it . Finally all of that will be the same price of PS3 or more. But in the PS3 side, all of that is built-in inside it. With Blu ray technology, HDMI technology, 1080p technology, CELL Processor (Parallel Power) technology, PS & PS2 emulation power, user friendly interface and that sexy design. So what is the mistake that Sony did? This is Living, this is Entertainment.

Jmar1183
Jmar1183

go to www.gametrailers.com and watch the developer interviews and you'll see the graphics look pretty much like the show in a pre alpha stage, EA may have finally done a something smart and atleast make the game look like the cartoon instead of bastardizing it for a quick pay day

bendall01
bendall01

All Simpsons games so far have been a flop (for me), lets see if they an make a good one!

andybling12
andybling12

Maybe,but maybe it has cheap grafix,dont know,like the simpsons(shoot and run)some thing like that.

Australians
Australians

big quizteion but if homer goes on the battlefront i will get the game anyway just heard of the new one

Diegocr
Diegocr

Hmmm...didn't they had to pay Rockstar for that mini game called Grand theft Scratchy?

Tokanite
Tokanite

I was and am a HUGE fan of the Simpson's arcade series... but... seriously. This is not gona work. They should have just released the classic arcade games on XBLA and be done with it.. you cant keep beating a dead horse people, come on. No way its gona survive in the modern market.

standcm12
standcm12

hit and run was a graet game..hope its like that :-P

-Jad-
-Jad-

Hmmm.... I don't know if going 2 be good or not. As a simpsons watcher I hope so... I will wait until heard some of my friends opinions.

Lance_C
Lance_C

I don't think this game will be a hit, but the co-op they are referring to might be something which can turn things around a little.

DRZ-numba-1
DRZ-numba-1

i hope the game comes out okay because some of the Simpson games have sucked this especially Simpson's wrestling, but if they can come up with something good like the next gen of Hit and Run, i will definitely buy the game

popping4it
popping4it

i agree that simpsons arcade game was alot of fun.

Volgin13
Volgin13

The Arcade beat um' up was the best Simpsons game ever

alkaline_DnB
alkaline_DnB

cool, but i don't think any other simpsons game then or now came compete with the ARCADE classic.

elwhite
elwhite

You know what would be awesome, if they brought back the the old arcade simpsons game. Where Mr. Burns and Smithers kidnapped Maggie to get back a diamond, and the family had to rescue her. Homer would beat the cr*p out of people, Bart had the skate board, Lisa had the jump rope and Marge had the vacume cleaner. BEST SIMPSONS GAME EVER!

acehardy
acehardy

I hope it turns out great . Tonis125 check your local EB games Family guy the game has been out for awhile

snugglebear
snugglebear

Yeah, I owned Bart vs. the Space Mutants on the NES. Cheesey game about covering up everything in the town of Springfield that's purple. I'd also totally forgotten about the Simpsons arcade game that came on the heels of the Ninja Turtles one. Good memories. ALWAYS played as homer. Didn't Smithers just have a coat full of bombs?

tonis125
tonis125

they should make a family guy video game.

aaaawwww
aaaawwww

"bart vs the space mutants is actually on the SEGA GENISIS and not NINTENDO. I have the game sitting in my drawers next to the sega. And it was BART'S NIGHTMARE that was nintendo. Well super nintendo that is." WOW. About a minute of web searching would have saved you from looking like a total MORON. Bart vs. The Space Mutants was MOST DEFINITELY an NES game! (even BEFORE the Genesis release) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Simpsons:_Bart_vs._the_Space_Mutants PWNED.

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

This looks cool as long as EA doesn't half___ it this will be a great game to go with a must see movie.

JumpOff718
JumpOff718

bart vs the space mutants is actually on the SEGA GENISIS and not NINTENDO. I have the game sitting in my drawers next to the sega. And it was BART'S NIGHTMARE that was nintendo. Well super nintendo that is.