Red Vs. Blue: Revelation (2010)

Rating: ****
Review Date: 11/21/10

HOLY SHIT! The guys at Rooster Teeth really pulled out the stops with this offering, as they add custom character animation with astounding results. Not only does it feature the return of Tex, but her fight against the Reds and Blues is a study in jaw-dropping awesomeness. Picking up where "Recreation" (2009) left off, Doc and Simmons are held captive by Washington and an increasingly unstable Meta. Sarge and Grif mount a rescue operation with Church in tow, and the sight of Church/Epsilon drives The Meta into a rage, allowing Simmons to escape and regroup with the Reds. Church's recurring flashbacks cause him and Caboose to head for a Freelancer storage facility, where Church resurrects Tex and finds a proper host body for himself as well. Then all hell breaks loose as Tex goes on a mind-blowing rampage and sets off to face Washington. She wants answers to the meaning of her existence, and only The Director has them. But things don't end up so well, and she and Church find themselves once more in oblivion.

It was clear in "Recreation" that Rooster Teeth were getting frustrated by the limits of what they could do with machinima, and "Revelation" provided the perfect opportunity for them to break that barrier and do some really cool stuff. The custom animation also allows for greater dramatic and emotional depth, which in turn promotes deeper and more intelligent writing. The pacing also benefits, and the entire story moves along at a pleasant speed. I found the entire thing riveting, and the action sequences are truly outstanding. The choreography and execution are extremely fluid and well thought out, which really shows off the untapped talent of the creators. "Red Vs. Blue" has finally come into its own and proved that it has legs beyond being a curious byproduct of "Halo," and I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing what they have to offer next.