In keeping with our Sim theme, I thought I’d publish this piece which was originally written in summer 2007 for PC Gamer UK’s Long Play series. This look back at SimCity 2000 invites the anger of fans of the subsequent SimCity games by claiming it was the best the series had to offer. Perhaps it’s just me… Perhaps not. If nothing else I think that 2000 captures the quintessential essence of a City game.
This is the one. No subsequent Sim-sequel has been able to capture SimCity 2000’s primal management essence. This is the Sim game upon which all others rest, like resource-pecking vultures on the bones of some perfect Darwinian entity. The isometric depth of this sequel dragged us outwards and upwards from the original SimCity, inspiring us to such an extent that that original compulsion to build and zone and budget seemed flat and parochial by comparison.
2000’s rich spine of management systems and statistical paraphernalia induces the weird urge in all gamers to become tight-fisted local governors. Back in 1994 we couldn’t help but worry about how close the industrial zones were to our suburban housing, or about how much we were spending on road maintenance, or subways, or airports. The same is true in 2007. Once unearthed and installed, a city must be founded, expanded and maintained.
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