This is not true!
The Intel Sandybridge, which includes the HD3000 graphics card is capable of OpenGL 3.3!
It is just the driver which apparently supports only up to OpenGL 3.1 on the Windows-platform. Don’t know why Intel does not deliver an updated version of their drivers for Windows. It seems that on Mac OSX this graphics card has had support for OpenGL 3.3 for a long time, and since a while also the Linux-driver supports it.
I can confirm that the game runs fine on Ubuntu Linux 15.10 with a HD3000, with one limitation:
If you can live with the limitation to see the trees appearing only when they are at a distance of 100m or less (you can define the distance), I got a mod for that from Urban Games. In this way, the trees could also be disabled completely if you like… For the USA-DLC in the desert, the landscape still looks nice 😉
By the way, I have to say that Urban Games has a very friendly and fast-responding support!!!
So maybe it’s worth a try for some of you to run Steam on Linux! Remember that you can install Steam on multiple platforms and just try if it works. Linux-distributions as Ubuntu can be installed quickly and in parallel to Windows, or even on an external Hard-drive or USB-Stick. Of course you should know something about installing operating systems.
And for those who are a little bit familiar with Linux and OpenGL:
If you type in glxinfo in a Linux terminal, you can get information about the version supported by the driver. Many lines will appear, among others (on my laptop):
OpenGL version string: 3.0 Mesa 11.0.2
OpenGL shading language version string: 1.30
Here it says OpenGL 3.o, but this is only half the truth. Apparently it is not the OpenGL version string, but the “core profile version string”, which matters. These lines state:
OpenGL vendor string: Intel Open Source Technology Center
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI Intel(R) Sandybridge Mobile
OpenGL core profile version string: 3.3 (Core Profile) Mesa 11.0.2
OpenGL core profile shading language version string: 3.30
So according to this Information, the Intel driver supports OpenGL 3.3 on Linux 🙂