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Why The Flash Couldn’t Truly Work In A Standalone Video Game

It’s a question that’s been asked hundreds of times with plenty of videos to go alongside. Questions like, could it work? How would it play? Combat system? Etc. The reason people ask these questions is that out of most superheroes to base a video game on, The Flash definitely needs to be the most difficult.

Now, this has technically been done already. The DC Universe game that’s free to play on PlayStation and Xbox already has aspects of the super speed. You can choose this power for your character and surprisingly it’s done okay. Would it be sufficient for a AAA game? No. Could the mechanics improve? Meh, probably.

The issue is when you’re playing that game and you’re sprinting everywhere it tends to become boring. It’s why I kind of stopped playing DC Universe a couple of years ago.

The other part is the combat system for this game. We know The Flash can run around the entire globe in less than a second, how could you implement those types of abilities into a video game? Especially a game where you’re in full control of The Flash.

Then one of the videos I watched discussed the overall challenge of the game. The Flash has super healing alongside super speed. You can deny it but The Flash is one of the most powerful superheroes across all comic book franchises, including Marvel. So how do you implement a challenge into that? Again, it’s difficult.

The Flash has been used in different types of video games before. He’s been in the LEGO games, also the Injustice franchise. Both of those games despite controlling The Flash are done in more controlled ways. LEGO you can just go off sprinting in a mission, and you’re often running at a normal pace. In Injustice it’s a fighting game that requires button combos to pull off moves. Again, he moves at a normal pace with the move of the analog stick.

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Obviously, I’m not a gaming developer but I know a thing or two about the development side. Maybe a developer could come in and prove me wrong that the game could work, be enjoyable and different. However, I don’t think it ever could be. Especially not a game where you’re in full control very similar to the Batman Arkham series or the Sony Spider-Man games.

Whilst yes it would be amazing to get to run across the city. Even in DC Universe, this was actually a pretty entertaining aspect of the game, but for me, it didn’t last long. It got extremely tedious after 2-3 hours where I wished I chose flying as my movement feature.

I wouldn’t mind seeing the game come to fruition, but in this instance, I think The Flash just couldn’t transition to this type of game and be great. Not like Spider-Man or Batman, unfortunately. Super speed powers will always be a difficult implementation, I think this is one of the reasons why a fully-fledged Superman game has never happened. Studios have tried and failed.

I’m in the process of writing an article called; “What If We Got A Justice League game?” There you’ll see my opinion on the best way to implement The Flash.

Obviously, this is my own opinion and understandably people’s thoughts will be completely different. What do you think? Do you think it’s possible? If so, would you enjoy it? Let me know down in the comments below.

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Daniel Lewandowski

28 years old. Founder, and co-owner of Comic Universe. Journalist specializing in the Arrowverse shows, and the MCU. Creator of the Comic Universe website.

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2 Comments

  1. Easiest way to implement would be something like they did force speed for Jedi in the old Dark Forces games. You don’t move faster, everything else moves slower. Dodging around a hail of slow motion bullets is hella fun. And while yes he does regenerate, regeneration is not exactly an uncommon feature of game heroes. How many games have you instantly heal from wounds after grabbing a powerup? He’s tough, but not invincible. Get riddled by enough bullets at once and he’ll most certainly go down.

    Beyond that, I would also not have the game be pure running around and fighting things. Break it up with investigation/adventure portions where your speed isn’t necessarily an important part of what you’re doing. Barry Allen is a forensic investigator first so spend time doing that.

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