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Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Genre: Action
Publisher: Atari
Developer: The Collective


PS2/Xbox/PC Preview - 'Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure'

by Thomas Wilde on Nov. 2, 2005 @ 2:14 a.m. PST

In a world where graffiti has been banned and freedom of expression has been suppressed by a tyrannical city government, an unlikely hero rises to win back his neighbourhood and become an urban legend of the city of New Radius. Play as Trane, a "toy" (beginner) graffiti artist with the street-smarts, athletic prowess and vision necessary to become an "All City King," the most reputable of all graffiti artists. The sport of graffiti flows through his veins as he risks his life navigating vertical landscapes while battling rival crews, a corrupt Mayor and the city's Civil Conduct Keepers (CCK) all in an effort to reach the sweet spots of New Radius where a well-placed tag brings respect and reputation.

Genre: Action
Publisher: Atari
Developer: The Collective
Release Date: November 29, 2005

Now here's something with some socially redeeming value.

Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure is a beat-'em-up, a platformer, and a free-roaming action game all wrapped up into one. The idea here is, when you find somebody committing horrible acts of deliberate vandalism, to beat the hell out of them with your bare hands… then commit your own horrible act of deliberate vandalism.

Getting Up is set in the slightly-futuristic city of New Radius; as Marc Ecko puts it, New Radius is "New York, fifteen minutes into the future." Your goal, as a newbie graffiti artist (or "toy") named Trane, is to rebel against the newly-installed authoritarian government while simultaneously gaining street cred and respect.

This involves equal parts graffiti skill and violence, both of which play a role as you battle through Getting Up. You'll need to take out rival gang members before they despoil your turf with their tags, then make tags of your own to prove your skills, expand your territory, and show local law enforcement what the deal is.

As a brawler, Trane's got some moves. You can punch or kick in a variety of combinations, or go for a headlock followed by some nasty elbows or knees. If a little extra power's called for, you can improvise by smacking someone around with items like car batteries.

More importantly, Trane's also got to pull off some dangerous moves. In New Radius, tagging carries a serious risk of discovery. If you take too long, not only will the paint drip and ruin your tag, but the cops will show up. Then, you'll have to pick a fight with local law enforcement, and if that takes too long, more cops will show up. Granted, they're mall cops, who will valiantly batter you about the neck and shoulders with their mag-lites, but… y'know, those hurt.

You'll also occasionally take your act into new and dangerous places, like into the subway or above the interstate. Taggers have this weird habit of doing dangerous things to get to the right place to tag, and in New Radius, that goes double. You'll need to play in moving traffic, dangle precariously above the interstate, jump from one moving subway car to another, and in general, endanger your life in a variety of ways in order to get the respect you're looking for.

Getting Up's story and characters were created by the fashion designer Marc Ecko, and as such, the game's got a style all its own. New Radius doesn't look like Vaguely Dystopian Future City #2345, as you might expect; instead, it's vibrant and colorful, with a variety of neighborhoods and a great hip-hop soundtrack.

The version of Getting Up I'm playing is nowhere near the final edition, so it's got more than a few weird little quirks, like a finicky camera. I'm still having fun with it, though; it's a cool platformer/brawler with a lot of style and some unique challenges. After Indigo Prophecy, this may be Atari's second great console title of the year.

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