“Mr. Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet.”
Nick Fury’s famous words to Tony Stark in the Iron Man post-credits scene will soon take on a whole new meaning. For the first time ever, fans will also become part of that bigger universe, except they’ll know and feel it in Avengers: Damage Control, a virtual reality experience from Marvel Studios and ILMxLAB.
Avengers: Damage Control marks a new frontier for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After closing out The Infinity Saga and before delivering Phase Four in theaters and on Disney+, Marvel Studios offers its first VR experience and the results are extraordinary. This is a dream come true for those who love the MCU.
VR may be new for Marvel, but storytelling is not. What’s been special about the MCU in theaters carries forward in a new story set after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Shuri (Letitia Wright) is heading up the Wakandan Science and Information Exchange, as we learned she would at the end of Black Panther, and one of her first partnerships is with Stark Industries.
Shuri has combined vibranium-powered Wakandan technology with Iron Man tech to create Emergency Response Suits, which you are there to test. The concept is reminiscent of the Iron Legion from Avengers: Age of Ultron, only these suits will be piloted by humans, not AI. Shuri has just enough time to welcome you to her lab and reveal the new suits when an old enemy returns from the virtually dead.
Ultron is back and bigger than ever. He’s ready for a rematch and set to pick up supplies at a Damage Control facility. It’s time for you to suit up and help The Avengers stop him. Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) provides a little background on Ultron for the uninitiated while Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) serve as your closest teammates on the mission. Spider-Man also helps quite a bit.
ILMxLAB puts you in the story in a variety of ways, each more incredible than the last. You learn how to shield yourself from attacks and fire back with repulsor blasts that are timed perfectly to what you’ve seen in the films. It’s not all combat, though, as the experience moves through a number of environments, each with different gameplay mechanics. One non-spoiler highlight includes a tour of Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum.
Do not worry if virtual reality is as new to you as it is to Marvel Studios because ILMxLAB has you covered. Every action required of you is intuitive. The instructions are simple enough to understand and execute. The biggest challenge is to stop marveling at everything happening around you and remember that you actually have a job to do.
This is an Avengers story, so it’s not all that difficult to imagine the kind of finale Damage Control builds to, but your imagination will pale in comparison to your (virtual) reality. The big, iconic moments you’ve cheered in theaters are happening right in front of you. The difference is that now you’re part of it. You’re not watching your heroes. You’re helping your teammates.
Avengers: Damage Control is a must for any Marvel Studios fan who can make it to The VOID, beginning October 18. Despite an intense battle with Ultron, I could not suppress all of the smiles that kept popping up as I lived the dream of assembling with The Avengers.
So much of what has made the MCU the world’s most popular franchise has been perfectly captured in this experience. Avengers: Damage Control brings you right into the MCU to not only witness the magic, but help make it.