“Does it hurt? Knowing just how much death you’ve brought to this planet.”

The internet sci-fi comedy sensation known as Red vs Blue has evolved so much over the years, both in terms of writing, and in its production. What started out as a simple group of guys making gag videos with a video game on the weekends has become inspiring, gripping and just damn awesome to watch. Each season just gets better and better, and what a hell of a season this year’s was. 

Welcome to the Planet Chorus, a far off desolate world at the very edge of the UNSC’s space colony. A planet that’s been plunged into civil war for years, with no chance of peace and no way to call for help. The New Republic has grown tired of the Federal Army’s corrupt government and wants to bring it to justice, but their backs are against the wall and more men die every day. Now, take the biggest bunch of armored dumbasses this galaxy’s ever known and throw them directly into the middle of this all-out war. Their dimwittedness, knack for ridiculous antics and sheer amount of luck could finally be just what this planet needs. 

Season 11 ended with the Reds and Blues failing to defend their crash site from the invading Federal Army’s soldiers, led by elite mercenary Locus, and were forced to flee. However, only four of them made it out- Grif, Simmons, Caboose, and Tucker. The rest of the simulation troopers were taken prisoner by the Feds and shipped to the Captial of Chorus, which is near impenetrable. Saved by both the Republic and their mercenary Felix and introduced to their underground base, our four remaining heroes came to the realization that in order to rescue their friends, they would need to fight in this war too. Come season 12, each Red and Blue now has their own squad and has been given the title of captain. Responsibility for the lives of their men and their friends lie on their shoulders, and they’ve learned how to work as proper soldiers. Or at least, they’re trying. But Grif is shaping his men to be lazy slobs like himself, Simmons can’t even talk to his all-girls squad, Caboose has his men convinced he’s a genius, and Tucker gets nearly all his men killed on their first infiltration mission. The Alliance was probably better off without them. But their leader, Vanessa Kimball, still believes the Reds and Blues give her men hope, and despite all their flaws these slacker soldiers are the galaxy’s greatest heroes. They haven’t died yet so, what could possibly go wrong?

Well, lots of stuff. Tucker and the gang can’t seem to get it together as leaders, and decide to leave their men behind to go on a last resort suicide mission in order to rescue their friends from a nearby Federal Army base. The four manage to find their friends (through learning how to use their idiocy to their advantage), but they are soon met with revelations that this war is far deeper and less black and white than originally perceived. Turns out, the entire war was a set-up. The Feds and the New Republic have been fighting each other for reasons fabricated by the very two mercenaries working for them, Felix and Locus. Neither side is particularly clean or guilty, but the entire planet of Chorus is being played by these two mercenaries and their mysterious employer known as Control for profit. Chorus is revealed to have been initially a digging site for alien artifacts and weaponry, and Control has been maniuplating the people into fighting each other so its mining of weaponry can go unnoticed and disguised from the rest of the galaxy. Suddenly, the Reds and Blues hold the key to an entire civilization’s rescue, and must decide whether or not they should get involved in a war that isn’t even theirs. 

Miles Luna has done a tremendous job with the series after taking over both writing and directorial positions in place of Burnie Burns, original director and creator of Red vs Blue. After the Freelancer Saga, this new chapter has almost felt like a throwback to season 6, which focuses more on capturing firefights and portraying realistic military schisms instead of pop culture gags or heavy doses of CG-animated sequences. In fact, the  story of Chorus takes all three of these styles and meshes them together into one cohesive plot. The story build-up is great, dramatic moments evoke a feeling of intensity and suspense, and the characters all bounce off each other as they should- comedically, complimentary, and heartwarmingly. In the end, Rooster Teeth’s machinima series is all about the characters and how much we love and laugh at them. 

Breakthrough, betrayal and reunion were abundant this season, and managed to keep us on the edge of our seats several times over. Everything from the rivarly of Washington and Locus to seeing Tucker grow as both a person and a soldier and rise to the challenge of becoming a leader was both epic and massively satisfying. Despite twelve seasons of plot, these characters continue to evolve, and like magnets trouble seems to always attract itself to them in one way or another. The beauty of this machinima series, which it gratefully owes to Bungie/343 Industries’ blockbuster Halo, is that there’s many possibilities of where to take this story, and what kinds of challenges the Reds and Blues will face. Also, it is the bare bones fact that these guys are determined to overcome any obstacle before them, no matter how lazy they might be or how much they hate each other. These simulation troopers which once fought each other over stupid arguments have learned to work together, both as a unit and a family. In many ways, they reflect the state of Chorus.



-Andrew (Head of A7)

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