Even though it hasn't changed much, it still gets more than the attention it deserves. And it's easy to see why.
While its not the best sim out there (or is it?) Simcity lets you take the reigns of the council, and put it to the test as you build houses, roads, railways and communities, and watch over them. And watching over them is all the more rewarding with this game, as the graphics revamp from the blue dots of Simcity 2000 has made a wonderful entrance. While the things going on in the streets are only representations, they do a damned well job of it, and its fun to just lie back and watch trains chuff away or cars driving in and out of tunnels.
The graphics are the main change with this game. Compare the closest zoom in Simcity 2000 (4x) to the closest zoom in Simcity 3000 (8x). The new zoom increase is there so you can watch as different cars and trucks drive up and down your roads. The movement brings back the "Sim jump" feel, shared also by the RCT2 series and Locomotion. And even though the cars are only a representation, they do a good job telling you what is going on. An outback road on the edge of a city would have the occasional bus drive around on it, while a road nearer the centre would be chock full.
The trains keep to their lines surprisingly well, and I can spend months (well, in-game months anyway) just watching a train make its journey, and watching the many obstacles it has to pass. One of the new graphic sets are people, and its fun to watch people flocking around your newly built museum. Also, the game has taken to 3D, meaning that it wont just flip the images like Simcity 2000, there are four sides, and they are all rendered. Also, you can make your own buildings with the architect program, and import these anywhere you like.
One of the great features is the scenario editor, which allows you to script your own objectives. And we can't forget the Snapshots, can we? Simcity 3000 lets you take pictures of your city, and stores them in an album, accessible in or out of the game. This is great for capturing the moments when two boats are driving water over one another, or when a jet is just taking off.
One of the bad things is its bugs, but these are mostly eye candy bugs, that don't really effect the game. Suck things are helicopters getting dragged into whirlpools the way boats are dragged, even though the choppers are in the air. And other bugs the user is able to stage. One of these is the "No, you first" bug. This bug appears when a train tries to go over a road, but a car is in the way. That car is there because it is in a line of cars waiting for the train to move out of their way. This usually results in the train suddenly vanishing, which is Simcity's way of saving itself.
Graphics and eye candy aside, Simcity is a great game at heart. Its pretty hard to master, and most people have their moment in the sun just before the bottom drops out of their finance. But whether you're a newbie or an expert, this game will bring you back for more.