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3D Engine Choice?

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I'm working on developing the graphical backbone of my RPG, and trying to either find a good engine to use or create one on my own using DirectX. The feel of the game that I am going for is sort of a 2D-cum-3D look, where the game has the simplistic look of classical 2D tiled RPGs like the mid-range final fantasies, but with 3D graphics and variable-height terrain more like sim-city or populous, but on a human-sized scale, rather than city-sized. I would actually like to keep the graphics fairly rudimentary polygon-wise. The landscape should be composed of cubes, ramps, and pyramids predominantly - if anyone here remembers the SCURK tool for SimCity 2000 (, where there were basic object construction tools, I want to provide that feel, with some slightly cartoonish textures. More complex elements, such as trees, bushes, rocks, etc. will be added later as more involved 3D models. At first, I thought about utilizing a 2D isometric engine, but I want to include some more sophisticated 3D elements such as lighting, shadow, 360 degree rotation, and over/under such as bridges/overpasses. Any suggestions on what sort of engines I should be looking at? Or would I be better off making my own? Thanks! EDIT: Oops, I meant the SimCity 3000 Building Architect Tool Creates some nice blocky structures that are reminiscent of FF IV come to life.

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