– by Emmanuel Gomez

Every year there are thousands of people left outside of San Diego Comic-Con wishing they were able to get inside the convention floor. But all is not lost for these people as many networks and studios have awesome activations that don’t require a badge right in the film or television show around the convention. Such is the case for Amazon’s Prime Video that brought the Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Experience.

It was located at an offsite area that turned a 60,000 square feet area into an immersive experience that takes visitors out of San Diego and into the Middle East. Amazon gave us the opportunity to experience the activation over the weekend and get right into the life of Jack Ryan. The activation is set up into several different areas. One is a Middle Eastern bazaar where you can pick up some Jack Ryan SWAG: snacks, ice cream or just grab a drink of water.

Right across from the bazaar is the Jack Ryan training field. As an agent in training, you go through several heart-pounding moments after a mission briefing from Jack Ryan’s boss James Greer, who is played by Wendell Pierce. From there you are strapped into a harness and an HP Omen X VR backpack that is connected to your Oculus headset along with hand and foot sensors.

Once you are set you are rushed off to a building where you run up three stories of stairs and board a helicopter. At this point a soldier helps you put on your headset where you’re transported into Yemen and as you rappel down a helicopter, run across “dangerous” high rise buildings, fight off a group of enemies, zip line off a building and make your escape in a jeep. Once you make it to the safe house you’re greeted with a special coin for completing your mission and a video from Jack Ryan himself played by John Krasinski. There were some technical difficulties throughout the experience that caused some delays but overall it was well worth the time.

Just when I thought that I had seen the best of what that activation had to offer, we moved on to the Dark Ops escape room. Here you and 9 other attendees or agents in training have to escape through five rooms. We are told from the beginning to pay close attention because the experience recreates the pilot episode of Jack Ryan. With that said I won’t go into detail of what we went through so I don’t spoil the episode. But I will say that by the end of it we had operated a drone, solved several puzzles and even saved one of our own from being handcuffed in an interrogation room. Amazon even integrated Alexa at some key moments of the escape to help us out.

By far this was one of the most immersive activations that I have ever been a part of. Just for a few minutes, you get the opportunity to be an agent like Jack Ryan. If the series is as exciting as the activation this past weekend, then we can expect a fantastic series.

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan premieres August 31st, 2018 exclusively on Amazon’s Prime Video.


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