It’s hard to talk about video games and not mention the Halo franchise. Constantly breaking records and taking names, Halo is a system selling behemoth of a property for the XBox 360. It was one of the games so popular, that it would go on to spawn multiple Machinima series, animated shorts created using assets from the respective games. These included everything from Phil to Arby ‘n’ The Chief to what may be the most famous Machinima ever, Red vs. Blue.
Smartly coinciding the release of the 8th season of Red vs. Blue entitled Revalation and the Recollection three disc set with the release of Halo: Reach, Rooster Teeth helps provide Halo fanboys with more Halo than they can handle in the biggest week of their gaming year.
The Recollection contains the second full story arc of the Red vs. Blue universe. Not a part of any official Halo canon, Red vs. Blue takes aspects of the game world never explained like the constant fighting in multiplayer of the different Spartans and tries to explain it. Taken with a grain of salt, the story even gets a little meta and makes a viewer step back and wonder how much applies to them. But for the most part, there is just lots of great comedic moments and swearing over a finely animated and even dramatic story.
The crown jewel of the Recollection and Red vs. Blue series as a whole is the animation of season 8. In Revelation, the animators were no longer limited to traditional Machinima animation techniques and were allowed to do pretty much anything with characters and environments. The fight scenes in this rival that of some major blockbuster movies. Though we know these fights between the various Spartans would look hokey if done in a realistic style, they are a perfect fit in the Machinima world. Taking a page from the classic Stick Fight flash movies, some of the martial arts performed , including the repeated hits to Griff’s codpiece, make you flinch in pain.
The fights don’t just contain incredible looking effects. They also have some incredibly inspired concepts behind them. One great example of this is a fight between the freelancer Tex and both the Red and Blues where she uses teleporters as both an offensive and defensive weapon. Some of these sequences must be seen to be believed. Whoever came up with these deserves a job in major motion pictures because not only did they look great but they are so imaginative they blow away any recent fight scene on the silver screen.
Despite the foul language, violence and repeated nut shots, there is a lot of heart in Red vs. Blue as well. The sacrifices made by Church, the constant mentor to student bickering between Sarge and Griff, the near handicapped innocence of Caboose and even the often misunderstood Spanish speaking robot Lopez all make you actually care about characters that you know are just manipulations of a video game’s multiplayer mode.
Because Red vs. Blue is a serialized entity, it is not recommended to start with the Recollection or Season 8 as your first time looking at the series. While some of the jokes will still be funny and the animations will look great, there is so much history already built into these characters from the start of the series that so much would be lost.
For anyone who has enjoyed anything Red vs. Blue in the past, even just the free video explaining the XBox Live Marketplace that was on the memory of new XBox 360s, it is strongly recommended to go online or purchase the full Blood Gulch Chronicles and catch up to season six to experience the Recollection. The humor of this game represents much of what we love about playing Halo online, whether or not you even realize it as you shout obscenities over XBox Live.