Why You’ve Never Seen The MCU’s Best Marvel Multiverse Story

Tom Hiddleston As God Loki Reaching Out Amongst The Strands Of The Multiverse In The Loki Season 2 Finale

Three years since the Multiverse Saga began, what may be the MCU’s best What If…? story so far may not have been seen by many. Ever since Loki season 1 sparked its rebirth, the multiverse has been affecting all corners of the MCU. This has resulted in the arrival of Spider-Man variants in Spider-Man: No Way Home, a jaunt across several universes in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and the arrival of the MCU’s biggest threat yet – the Council of Kangs – in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

The animated MCU show, What If…?, meanwhile, has been exploring in greater depth other universes in which branching timelines arise from the smallest of diversions from the main MCU timeline. Although What If…? season 2 concluded in December 2023, a bonus episode of sorts has recently emerged in an unusual guise. What If…? – An Immersive Story is a collaborative effort between Marvel Studios and the Apple Vision Pro to deliver another branching timeline story, and it may be one of the best multiverse stories yet.

What If’s VR Story Explained

The watcher offers to destroy or keep the Infinity Stones in What If..._ an immersive story

What If…? – An Immersive Story is an interactive episode of What If…? that turns the viewer/player into the so-called “Hero of the Multiverse,” a protagonist with an innate talent for sorcery that Wong helps to hone in a matter of minutes. It opens with the Watcher beseeching the Hero for their help in halting three villains from getting hold of select Infinity Stones in their timelines and changing the natural course of the multiverse. The hero does this with the help of the Soul and Space Stones and the Watcher’s ability to transport them to new universes.

The Hero collects Infinity Stones in the process of stopping the villains in question, only for “The Watcher” to reveal himself as Scarlet Witch in disguise. Scarlet Witch seizes the Infinity Stones for herself, intending to use them to create a brand-new multiverse in her image. She then sends the Hero to the Soul Realm alongside the villains. Here, the player meets Vision, whose death is an Absolute Point in time and something that Wanda intends to prevent.

After being freed by Wong and aiding in the Scarlet Witch’s defeat, the Hero transports Wanda and Vision to the Soul Realm to be together forever. The Hero of the Multiverse then faces a difficult decision: destroy the Infinity Stones and allow the multiverse to run its natural course, or allow the villains to use them as they intended. This then gives way to two very different endings.

What If’s VR Story Beats Marvel’s Current Multiverse Stories Because It Takes Things To The Next Level

What If…? – An Immersive Story treads entirely new ground in MCU storytelling. The nature of the multiverse and What If…? stories lend themselves perfectly to a choose-your-own-adventure structure and this project encapsulates that potential. By placing the viewer front-and-center, it takes the mind-bending premise of What If…? to all-new levels as the audience themselves affect the multiverse.

The notion of branching timelines created by single decisions feels far more real when placing that decision at the viewers’ feet. This heightens the concept even more, as it feels far less restrictive than the stories being told within the closed structure of a standard episode. The two endings also appear to herald even more interactive What If…? stories, suggesting that Marvel intends to tell more stories in this particularly unique setting.

What If’s VR Story Further Proves It’s The Multiverse Saga’s Most Underrated Release

What iF..._ An Immersive story the watcher holds out the soul stone next to Wong

Unfortunately, What If…? – An Immersive Story is restricted to the handful of people who own Apple Vision Pros. This precludes a huge swathe of MCU fans from even being aware of this particular Multiverse Saga story, making it a criminally overlooked addition to the MCU that finally treads new ground as fans clamor for new genres. While playthroughs can be watched online via platforms like YouTube, the fact that it is not watchable through typical means like Disney+ or cinemas means that it will largely fly under the radar.

This is a status that is shared by no other MCU installment. The canonicity of What If…? – An Immersive Story is up for debate, but the very nature of the multiverse suggests that it is as canon as any other universe, including Sony’s Spider-Man franchises and Fox’s X-Men franchise. Thankfully, this also means that the consequences of missing out on this underrated MCU installment extend only to the fact that it is worth a watch, even if it does not impact the main MCU storyline.

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