Six Flags Breaks New Ground With Dark Rides

Posted by Elizabeth Alton on Monday, July 27th, 2015

Justice League: Battle for Metropolis

Earlier this year, Six Flags made waves with the announcement that they were going to be dipping a toe into dark rides. The theme park chain is largely known for their roller coasters, thrill rides, and water park experiences. The Justice League: Battle for Metropolis dark ride represents new territory for Six Flags. Fans wondered if it would meet the high standards of rides produced by Disney, Universal, and other big industry names. The reviews are in and they’re overwhelmingly positive: Battle for Metropolis has officially been deemed a game changer and could indicate a new direction for the chain.

Justice League: Battle for Metropolis was produced by recognized industry players – the Sally Corporation and Oceaneering International. The ride was launched at Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags St. Louis. Thematically, the Justice League was a natural choice and fits in with the DC Comics intellectual property found throughout the park. During the ride, six guests help superheroes like Batman and Superman from the Justice League to defeat enemies that include classic comic book villains like Lex Luther and The Joker. Battle for Metropolis has been described as a Sally-style shooter – only taken to the next level. One of the ride’s big differentiators is its level of interactivity.

Sally Corporation Shooting Game - Justice League: Battle for Metropolis

Guests begin the journey in a themed queue that includes extensive theming, video screens playing Justice League-related content, and an animatronic figure recruiting patrons to fight alongside the Justice League. Once they reach the ride cars, guests put on 3D glasses and settle in for a three minute experience that moves at lightning speed. Each participant is given a stun blaster to shoot at the more than 600 virtual enemies that pop up during the course of the ride.

Oceaneering International created unique motion-based cars for the ride that offer a significant amount of freedom. The cars tilt and spin, and are able to complete 360 degree turns and virtual loops. When combined with the number of enemies and the fast speed of its design, the cars help contribute to the ride’s high level of repeatability.

The ride has a significant visual component and is brought to life by an impressive array of screens. Each ride features 18 screens, which includes five 17×30 foot interactive screens that are used during the shooting portion of the adventure. One of the most innovative developments of the ride is a fog screen which has villains projected onto it. The ride cars pass through the wall of fog, adding a whole new level of interest to the 4D experience.

Six Flags new dark ride

The targets range from henchmen to big named villains. The designers took an interactive approach to developing the enemies, and in the style of the best shoot ‘em ups the targets react realistically to hits and misses. The setting of the ride changes, as guests speed through the streets of Metropolis and below it. Guests also get to visit LexCorp HQ. Overall, the Battle for Metropolis is a high speed, interactive shooter that builds on a rich world with thoughtful theming and a great sense of adventure.

Initially, there was some skepticism about adding dark rides to Six Flag parks. After all, guests routinely visit these theme parks for thrilling drop rides, innovative coasters, and to chill out on the water slides. But the addition of dark rides turns out to be a thoughtful one. Justice League: Battle for Metropolis offers something different and exciting for guests amidst the usual lineup. And given Six Flags’ target demographic – guests who may make regional trips to parks but not be able to visit Orlando or Southern California regularly – it gives a wider audience the chance to experience the magic behind the latest generation of dark rides.

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