The Marvel Cinematic Universe has built one of the most impressive interconnected series of stories through two-dozen films. The shared world on the big screen continues to grow with a stacked Phase 4 or titles hitting both theaters and the Disney+ streaming service. However, for a short time, Marvel Studios will be offering something more to fans in the form of Avengers: Damage Control. It is not a movie nor a TV show. Instead, it is a VR experience offered at Void locations around the country and it is a better experience than any movie or TV show could ever be.
After entering the Void VR room, Marvel fans will be greeted by a familiar face: Letitia Wright, in character as Shuri. A live-action video welcomes them to the experience and explains what they are about to experience -- it is the perfect entry point to the most immersive experience available. After the short video, you walk over to what looks like a ship from the beginning of Tom Cruise's experience in Edge of Tomorrow as high-tech helmets and backpacks are hanging side by side. The backpack (which has a good bit of weight to it) seems to be nothing more than a battery, computer, and fan to help the head set operate. Once the head set is on, the dimly lit room filled with maze-like black walls becomes the Wakandan Outreach Center established at Black Panther's end.
Fans are immediately stepping into the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- and it is amazing.
With little time to spare, a now-computerized Shuri coaches the gamer through their available moves which includes shield and energy blasts from their suit. The real-world technology which is following the player's body is nearly seamless as each little movement, right down to a finger, is tracked and translated into the VR headset. The first big shock of the experience is looking at your hands and seeing a suit designed to match the looks of Stark Tech and Wakanda technology. Essentially, Shuri got her hands on Stark Tech and made Iron Man-like Black Panther suits for "new recruits." We are those new recruits.
Sharing the experience with other gamers makes it all that much better as you can communicate and even high-five your Iron Man hands. If you see a wall, you can feel a wall. If you see a steering wheel, you can physically hold on to and turn with a steering wheel. If Doctor Strange opens a portal to a snowy world, you feel the cold breeze and snow hitting you. It is all made to feel tremendously real and will even trick your mind into thinking you are walking downstairs in the Sanctum Santorum when really you are just walking in a flat triangular path.
By the end of Avengers: Damage Control's run time, the new recruits have battled Ultron and shared an experience with some of their favorite Marvel heroes. Few moments manage to top looking Doctor Strange in the eyes and coming up with a battle plan while literally being able to lean on a railing inside the Sanctum but, somehow, a few moments do. Marvel Studios cleverly used the likes of Ant-Man, Spider-Man, and The Wasp for one size-changing experience and makes good use of Quinjet flight to head into a final battle, as well.
All things considered, Avengers: Damage Control is one of the most immersive experiences ever created and a tremendously impressive entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for fans wishing they could exist in that world. The temporary journey in that world is unforgettable and something any Marvel fan should make an effort to experience if it is available in a city near them.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.