Six Flags Challenges Disney, Universal at Their Own Game with Justice League: Battle for Metropolis
May 19, 2015, 11:01 AM ·
ARLINGTON, Texas — Six Flags Over Texas this morning did something that theme park fans might not expect from a Six Flags park — it opened a world-class dark ride that sets a new standard for what an interactive attraction can be.
With a blast of his ray gun, Six Flags Over Texas park president Steve Martindale "cut the ribbon" to open Justice League: Battle for Metropolis, an interactive dark ride that challenges riders to help Superman, Batman, and the rest of the Justice League to save Metropolis from Lex Luthor and The Joker.
Developed in cooperation with Sally, Oceaneering, and a who's who of themed entertainment contractors, Justice League provides a comic-themed, 3D motion-base ride that might challenge The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (from rivals Marvel and Universal) for overall experience. If you think you know what a Sally shooter is, think again. Justice League offers a blend of thrills, narrative and game play that should place it among the world's elite dark rides.
No, the 3D animation isn't quite up to Spider-Man's standards, and there's one transition during the ride when riders are left with a blank moment that breaks the narrative momentum. But Justice League adds animatronic scenes and more practical sets than Spider-Man. And, oh yeah, did we mention that Justice League is a game, too?
Photo courtesy Sally Corp.
All the game play happens on a half-dozen 3D screens and a fog screen in the ride, where you'll try to blast The Joker's orange-suited henchmen and Lex Luthor's robot army to score points. The quest for a higher score will by itself prompt many riders to come back and try again, but even non-gamers will need at least a couple of turns through the ride to soak in all of what's happening. Yes, there's a great animatronic scene where the Joker blasts you with his laughing gas, but later 3D scenes offer memorable highlights, too, including a simulated 360-degree loop as Lex Luthor and the Joker conspire to foil your attempt to help the Justice League.
The frenetic narrative pace in this three-minute ride at times matches the best moments of Universal's Transformers ride, while drawing you ever more convincingly into the action through the game play. Let's take a ride:
Justice League opens to the public this weekend, with a clone of the ride opening at Six Flags St. Louis at the end of the month.