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It’s back, and better than ever! The latest in the SimCity series, SimCity 3000 (SC3K) is a very grown-up version of the game with tons of new features and a glossy new look. You’ll find a greater range of tools, lots of bug fixes and a whole new building tile set. One of the best new features is the huge library of actual landmarks included with the game (with more available for download.) It’s kind of cool to have a simple one-horse town with the Arc de Triomphe sitting in the middle of it.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
The control panel has been completely revamped from the last version, with an RTS-style playing field surrounded by controls. You also now have a ticker across the bottom of your screen with news and advice from your various advisors, instead of having to monitor the newspaper as in SimCity 2000 (SC2K). Access to charts, maps and graphs is much easier, too. The game speed is easier to control, as each time you load a city you start out in pause mode, and the various speeds aren’t so hugely different from what they were before.
You can even load in cities from SC2K, though there are some things that have been changed that will make them rather different in this version. Otherwise, the basic gameplay is the same as always and most of the strategies you’re familiar with for building cities before will work here. There are also some strategy updates, though, as some of the ordinances, pollution and crime data are different. The biggest problems I ran into when playing, aside from being a bit confused over seaports and farms, were never having enough schools and dealing with traffic congestion (though this particular aspect is vastly improved over SC2K). I also kind of miss having hydroelectric plants, since those worked so easily before. Building bridges is also a bit of a pain at first, but once you’ve done a few, they make sense.
There isn’t quite as much improvement in actual game graphics as I had hoped for (I was imagining something closer to what the pre-game cinematics look like), but the overall look is much cleaner, clearer and more colorful. Buildings are much more detailed now, there’s actual animation on many items, and on the closest zooms you can actually see cars and people moving around. The terrain is also smoother and easier to work with, and you can even turn off the grid lines to watch your city in action.
Authentic sounds, especially on the closer zooms, and some really good (if oddball) music. No great need for a major sound card, unless you want the surround sound immersion effect.
It’s a hefty one -- be sure to have a fast system, or a large city will take forever to load.
Minimum: Win 95/98, Pentium 166, 32 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, 2 MB, 16 bit Video card DirectX 6 certified, 230 MB hard drive space, DirectX 6 sound card
Recommended: 233 Pentium or faster, 8X CD-ROM drive, 4 MB video card
One of the largest play guides I’ve ever seen comes with this game, along with a 15-page reference "card" that’s almost a play guide in itself. Both are very useful and handy. The SC3K website is also a great resource, as it addresses a few issues people have reported with the game, and has some great downloads and updates, too.
A great update. Lots of hard work went into this, and even though it took forever to finally be released, it was well worth the wait. They obviously listened very closely to what people wanted from the game and delivered very well. Many, many problems were completely resolved (such as water issues) and tons of new features were added that make the game all the more fun. There are still a few minor issues, such as difficulty with farms, seaports and bridges, but information on the website and in the play guide can help you get past those.
Download SimCity 3000
I remember what a huge deal it was when SimCity 3000 was first released. I am a massive fan of this series and have been since my dear old dad brought me the SNES version as a gift when I was a kid. I think that they did a great job with this game and improved on many aspects of SimCity 2000.
It Is Tough To Be In Charge!
One thing that is constant with all the SimCity games is the goal. The goal is to build a fully functioning city and not be broke at the end of the year when the taxman comes calling. What is weird is that on paper I know this sounds like the most boring premise for a video game every. However, SimCity 3000 and the other games in the series pull it off to perfection and this one does it with some tongue in cheek and a ton of personality.
Pretty City 3000
I think that there was a noticeable graphical leap from the last game to this one. While it may share that SimCity style that the first few games had. I feel this one has many more “finer details” you can see cars more clearly driving on the road and pedestrians walking around for example. It may not sound like a lot, but it works wonders to make the city you are working for, feel like a real place.
Blowing The Budget
I feel that by this point most people know what the deal with this franchise is so I will not bore you with the core details about what SimCity 3000 is all about. Instead, I want to talk about some of the new features they added to the game that I feel make the game feel fuller. Waste management is now an issue, the larger your city the more likely you are going to have problems with people and their garbage so you need to manage that!
You also have agricultural stuff going on as well which believe it or not was new to this. There are tons of new buildings and little things to keep you on your toes. You will never keep all of your citizens truly happy, but you can try your best. Getting to the end of the year and not being broke is always something that causes me to be very pleased with myself. Overall, if you have played a previous game in the series, you will feel right at home here.
A Little Help From My Friends
There are a couple of other new things that I want to give a special mention to. One is that you now have a new ticker which will keep you informed of how things are going ranging from stuff like crime, people's opinions, and even a UFO attack. You also have advisors who are kind of like friends that will help you out. Some people did not care about this aspect of the game, but I liked it. Not only do they actually help you, but they also help give the game a tad more charm as well.
I loved SimCity 3000 when it was first released and I feel that it holds up very well to this day. Here is the thing, as good as this game is. They did actually release a better version called, SimCity 3000: World Edition which offers what this game offers and much more. While bog-standard SimCity 3000 is fine, I do feel that if you want to play this game, the World Edition is the version that you need to play.
- It has that SimCity charm!
- I loved the disasters, especially the UFO attack
- Lots of new buildings and utilities to consider
- The game is challenging, but it is also a great deal of fun
- The graphics are greatly improved over SimCity 2000
- The game can slow down when your city gets pretty large
- The World Edition does kind of make this obsolete
Have You already got SimCity 4? Fine, you don't need this. It's the same game just a bit less pretty and with a few less options. Have you already got SimCity 20007 Then once again you don't need this, as it's the same game, just a little bit prettier and with a few more options.
The SimCity series hasn't changed one jot since it was first invented in, oh let's say, 1854 by Willard Wright. Well a couple of jots (3D graphic rendering was still in its infancy back in pre-Civil War America), but essentially every SimCity game has been the same mix of zoning, road laying, power lining and accounts juggling.
This third version had some fancy graphics to add to the mix, but once you'd gotten past the rotatey-pseudo 3D, it quickly boiled down to exactly the same thing. Fine if you hadn't already played it before, but pointless if you were already an experienced virtual mayor looking for new city planning-related thrills.
The underlying SimCity concept is one of the best gaming devices ever to emerge from the cesspit of turgid platformers and identikit shooters. But that doesn't mean you can get away with doing the same thing four times in a row. Buy one chapter only. This one if you're cheap.
The eagerly awaited third installment of Maxis' SimCity franchise offers a slew of civic improvements for would-be minimayors. SimCity 3000's rendered 3D buildings can be placed in the appropriate zones (residential, commercial, etc.), guarded by small police forces, and hit by more disasters than ever before. You can import cities from SimCity 2000 or create personalized versions of famous locales such as New York and San Francisco, complete with landmark buildings. Be sure to listen to your advisors--and the news--then zoom in on the map to see tiny, animated SimCitizens live out their lives. Best of all, when lording over a virtual microcosm of society isn't enough, you can create the structures themselves with SC3K's Building Architect Tool.