Under The Radar 01: Red vs. Blue

Between Twitter, Facebook and YouTube it’s hard to not know about something new and exciting. Everywhere we look it’s advertising and marketing for new TV shows, movies and books. If advertisements were rocks, we’d be stoned to death within minutes of watching TV. But sometimes, once in a blue moon something slips below our radar. Every so often I find a new movie, book or television show that I’d never heard about, some of which have even been around for years. This article’s main goal is to attempt to share those things that slip by without our notice, so maybe you can find something more original than the singing competitions you’re currently watching on TV.

RedVsBlue is a machinima series created by Rooster Teeth Productions. Machinima is when you use a video game to create a film or web series using the in game characters as you’re actors, in the case of RedVsBlue it’s the HALO game series. Originally meant to only be about six or seven episodes long, RedVsBlue currently has 8 completed seasons with the possibility of more on the way. Now before I even go any further, I’ve never beaten a HALO game. I always get a little bit of the way into the game and I always die, with that said you should know that you do not have to be a fan of the HALO game franchise to enjoy RedVsBlue. For the benefit of time and space, I’ll be focusing on season one which is the beginning of “The Blood Gulch Chronicles.”

The Great War has ended and Master Chief has kicked all the alien ass in the galaxy, leaving the Reds and the Blues to battle it out for reasons no one seems to understand. The Red Team has a base at one end of the box canyon known as Blood Gulch, while the Blue Team has a base at the opposite end. The first, and in my opinion only drawback you will find right away is that the producers have used a voice effect that makes their voices sound like they’re coming out of the characters helmets. At times this can make some lines sound muffled and confusing, though as the series goes on the quality vastly improves and leaves this lone problem in the past. Both Red Team and Blue Team have just received supply drops and with them, each team gets a Rookie. Red Team consists of Sarge (Red Armor), Simmons (Maroon Armor), Grif (Orange Armor) Lopez the Robot (Brown Armor) and their rookie Donut (Lightish Red Armor…errr…Ok, its Pink). Blue Team consists of Church (Cobalt Armor), Tucker (Teal Armor), Sheila (The AI that lives inside the tank) and their new rookie Caboose (Blue Armor).

RedVsBlue is a great mixture of comedy and action, with jokes that anyone can appreciate as well as some thrown in specifically for HALO fans. When I first watched season one, I was really surprised at how fast I became attached to the characters. Even though they’re essentially just heads bobbing up and down with people’s voices behind them, the voice acting and writing is so well done you become entangled in the ridiculous lives of the Reds and Blues. Season one focuses on the team killing murder of Church by the constantly inept Caboose. After his murder, Church returns as a Ghost to continue to play a role in the series and warns his teammates not to bring in the Freelancer known as Tex to help even the odds. Being that they are all dumb as bricks, the Blues bring Tex in to help leading to a single handed invasion of the Red Base by Tex and a horrible rescue op run by Tucker and Caboose in an attempt to free the very person who was supposed to save them.

RedVsBlue videos are pretty easily available from Rooster Teeth Productions website or even Gamestop and Best Buy. The Blood Gulch Chronicles is thoroughly enjoyable by anyone who likes dumb jokes, action, stuff blowing up, idiots, death threats, robots, and watching people who absolutely hate each other have to put up with one another. In layman’s terms, RedVsBlue could easily be the Machinima version of MTV’s The Real World, except with guns and robots.