Red vs. Blue is a comedy show that was made using the original Halo and a number of Xboxes hooked together with people controlling the actors and providing the voice work. It is absolutely hilarious and well worth checking out for any Halo fan. This review is of the first season DVD which contains episodes 1-19 as well as a load of special features that make this a pretty well rounded package.
How Do They Do It?
Red vs. Blue is created with a number of Xboxes networked together running Halo where one player is the cameraman and the other players are the actors in multiplayer matches on the map Blood Gulch. The black bars on the top and bottom of the screen are there to cover up the health, ammo, radar, and weapon that the cameraman is holding. You can still see the aiming reticule, but for the most part the show is seamless and it is hard to believe that this show is created entirely with a videogame. The Red vs. Blue crew has figured out a number of different ways to take advantage of the Halo engine to create an amazing number of shots and camera angles. The tank can be used as a boom for high shots and pans, characters can stand on each others shoulders, and with a few well placed grenades or rockets the vehicles can be placed in pretty much any position imaginable. It really is amazing to watch and it makes you appreciate just how great Halo is.
The world of Red vs. Blue exists as one where the red team and blue team are in a huge conflict that spans the galaxy. The show takes place on the map of Blood Gulch which, as the characters point out many times, is the stupidest place in the galaxy to have a battle since the real estate is so worthless. The red team consists of Sarge, Simmons, Grif, Donut, a robot named Lopez, and a Warthog jeep. The blue team is made up of Church, Tucker, Caboose, Tex, and a tank named Sheila. The day to day lives of the characters and their frequent skirmishes with the enemy team are the basis of the show and it is incredibly well written and absolutely hilarious.
Be warned, though, that there is quite a bit of swearing and the characters are shooting and killing each other so it isnt really the best show for little kids, but anyone old enough to play and enjoy Halo will love it.
The DVD features all 19 episodes of season 1 running back to back (no stops in between episodes) and has a running time of about 73 minutes. There is also an audio commentary track that is absolutely worth listening to at least once because it gives you a lot of insight into how the show is created and how certain shots were achieved. It is also nice to learn what the people behind the series are like in the real world. There are also a bunch of special features which include outtakes, line readings, and deleted scenes. You will also find public service announcements from the crew covering weapons of mass destruction, tattoos, and other things. Dont be fooled, though, they are far from serious and definitely not very informative. The DVD is also filled with easter eggs and little surprises and jokes if you have a sharp eye.
If you love Halo, youll love Red vs. Blue. It is as simple as that. The humor works on a number of different levels and there arent very many slow periods, so youll be laughing from start to finish. It is also good enough and funny enough that you will watch it again and again. The only slight downside is that all of these episodes are available for download for free online, but the ease of use, bonus features, and portability of the DVD make the $22 pricetag much easier to swallow. I highly recommend it for Xbox and Halo fans. You wont be disappointed.
You can purchase Red vs. Blue Season 1 at GameStop or at the official Red vs. Blue website.