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SimCity History: SimCity 3000

Technology continues to march forward and SimCity players are demanding more power, more options, more everything. Wishlists build up, players outgrow their cities, and pretty soon, something has to give. As can be predicted, something does: Maxis gives players a new SimCity.

SimCity 3000 buildings Take 2

In the summer of 1997, Maxis announced it would continue the SimCity saga with SimCity 3000. The new game was to offer full 3D graphics and allow players to move about their cities in a full three dimensional space. There would be 3D models of cars, boats, planes, and people. There would be... a change of plans. Maxis, realizing that the average SimCity player lacked sufficient hardware to run the complex 3D simulator, went back to the drawing board.

What they would wind up with graphically was a tremendously detailed isometric perspective. While SimCity 2000's graphics were also isometric, SimCity 3000's graphics are in 64,000 brilliant colors rather than 256. And now, because buildings are rendered in 3D before being saved as sprites, each building has four distinct faces. Imagine the delight of SimFans when they can finally rotate the city and see the true backs of buildings and not get disoriented in the process. Maxis is also giving each building its own character with true animations, such as spinning carousels and revolving satellite dishes.

Bring it to life

SimCity 3000 is the first in the SimCity line to deliver actual city wildlife. Namely, you can see citizens walking your city's downtown sidewalks and cars driving down the streets. Unlike other SimCity games, these cars will individually follow their designated paths, calculated by the game's traffic simulator. No more dots aimlessly wandering the streets--these drivers actually have a mind of their own. Rewarding the player also takes on new meaning when the game gives players new structures and other special gifts that have an affect on the lives of their city's citizens.

Map comparison
Map comparison
Players craving more building room now have it -- SimCity 3000 offers four times the space as SimCity 2000, which removes most, if not all creative restraints. To put this area increase in perspective, see the graphic at right.

Plug it in

Maxis offers extensive plug-ins for SimCity 3000. These plug-ins range from new buildings created by Maxis or other SimCity players, to new disasters to wrestle with. With SimCity 3000, Maxis has also devoted even more online resources to this game by providing a dedicated link to their Web site right from within the game. Getting tired of the monster attack? Download a Pillsbury Dough Boy monster to take over. Tired of looking at the same apartment building on 3rd street? Download a silver-glassed high rise to take its place. The possibilities are virtually unlimited.

SimCity 3000 II

There's a second installment of SimCity 3000: SimCity 3000 Unlimited. This isn't the game's sequel, but rather, an enhancement to the original SimCity 3000. With more scenarios, a terrain editor, more disasters, and more terrain types and building sets, SimCity 3000 Unlimited expands the original to new heights.

SimCity 3000 quick facts
Objects: 250 buildings plus assorted objects
Transit options: ~6 to 8
Zone types: ~10

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Last updated: 4/8/01

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