Marc Eckō's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure

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Marc Eckō's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure
Getting Up.jpg
Developer(s) The Collective, Inc.

General Arcade (Steam)

Publisher(s) Atari

Devolver Digital (Steam)

Engine 3D Engine: Slayer[1]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Mobile phone
Release date(s)
  • NA February 14, 2006
  • EU February 24, 2006

December 12, 2013 (Steam)

Genre(s) Beat 'em up
Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single player
Distribution 1 DVD, download (via Steam)[2]

Marc Eckō's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure is a video game released in February 2006 for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Windows. It was developed by The Collective, Inc. and published by Atari under license by Marc Ecko. There were two editions of the game, one being a limited edition and the other being the normal release. The game was later re-published by Devolver Digital in December 2013 on Steam.[3]

The game focuses on an amateur graffiti artist known as Trane who uses graffiti and tagging as a way to protest against the corrupt Dystopic city of New Radius, in a future world where freedom of expression is suppressed by a tyrannical, Orwellian city government. The "Contents Under Pressure" title refers to the warning found on most aerosol spray paint cans.

The gameplay is set up like a non-linear fighting game; the story progresses in a linear fashion, without the player needing to complete side missions, as in Grand Theft Auto III, but a certain amount of freedom and open-endedness is available to the player as they complete "Tag Wars" in the first part of the game.

The musical score for the game was produced by underground hip hop artist RJD2.

Development[edit]

Ecko has described the challenges of developing the game in interviews. These range from a missed Black Friday release date by saying "The code just wasn’t ready.", to communicating his vision to the developers:

"The gaming community has a natural tendency to take anything cool and make it cartoonish. That was a big learning curve."

and the refusal of classification of the game in one market:

"I think it’s demonization of graffiti, demonization of technology, the generational disconnect. I think video games are just a misunderstood medium."

On December 12, 2013 Devolver Digital re-released Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure onto the Steam Marketplace[4]

Plot[edit]

The story begins the New Radius Slums, where Trane, against the will of his grandmother, runs away from home to establish himself as a Graffiti artist. His first goal was to set himself as a notorious graffiti artist within the New Radius slums. His exploits reveals the state of New Radius, as a result of Sung's attempts at Gentrification of the city to make it look prosperous. He has oppressed the lower class societies by eliminating the budget of liberal arts for more "prosperous" enterprises in the city, using the C.C.K to keep the slums and the city's seedy reputation suppressed through violence. Trane soon butts heads with the Vandals of New Radius led by Gabe who constantly paints over his works. Realizing he needs to make his crew well known, he successfully tags the city monorail which allows him to show his graffiti around New Radius in the face of both the C.C.K and the VaNR and then defeating Gabe in a Graffiti battle which forces an alliance between both Crews.

Soon enough though,Trane is incapacitated by Decoy who tells him about his father's past and how it all connects to Sung's rise to power and the anti-graffiti campaign was a smokescreen to prevent artists such as Decoy from revealing the truth about Sung paying Trane's father to assassinate a rival candidate and Decoy had been tagging posters with the phrase "9/06" which is the day when Sung ordered the murder of Trane's father to cover up his involvement. Taking his revolution to the next step Trane begins tagging upper New Radius, the pristine part of the city which Sung upheld as the bastion of progress. Amongst the tagging campaign however Gabe betrays Trane under the threat of being killed by Shanna, an assassin in the employ of the New Radius News who uses the recent events to make interesting news. This leads to Lower New Radius being attacked by C.C.K death squads and Decoy's death at the hands of New Radius News's assassination and lover Shanna, swearing revenge, he plans a smear campaign against Sung by planting flyers which incriminates Sung for his role in the murder of another candidate. Trane defeats Shanna (although she does not die as she is revealed to have survived the fall from the blimp as a helicopter was waiting for her. While the fight to overthrow Sung has ended, the fight for freedom is never finished for Trane as he continues his tagging campaigns to keep the city of New Radius always in question.

Characters[edit]

Still Free Crew (SFC) This is the protagonist's "crew" in the game. It was created after Trane saved Kry-1 from some VaNR crew members. Kry-1 actually had to talk Trane into making a crew and even came up with the name. The name, Still Free Crew, comes from the words "Still Free" on Trane's hooded jumper. The crew members are Trane, Kry-1, and later White Mike. Their base is located at the abandoned art school.

Trane
Trane, aka Coltrane Crowley, is the main character and protagonist of Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure and is voiced by prominent Hip hop artist Talib Kweli. He begins the game as a self-centered amateur in the New Radius graffiti community caring little about the plight of the people, but as he progresses through the game he becomes swept up in the struggle against the corrupt Mayor Sung and his personal police force, the CCK. Even as a legend he continues to write illegally.
Kry-1
A fast talking kid who seems to know a lot about what is around him. Trane saves him from some VaNR punks early in the game. Kry-1 is always getting into trouble with VaNR for some reason or another, and has had embarrassing run ins with Spleen in the past. He seems to be considered a "Toy" as almost all of his pieces seen in the game have been gone over by other artist, notably Dip.(voiced Giovanni Ribisi)
White Mike
A massive albino that is not afraid to fight, White Mike can be a great ally, or an even greater enemy, depending on if he likes you or not. Though Trane fights him early in the game and steals his paint, "Renegade" White Mike later joins the protagonist due to a mutual friendship with Kry-1.

Vandals of New Radius (VaNR) The antagonist "crew" of the game. The members include Gabe, Dip, and Spleen. There are also many other nameless members that the player constantly encounters throughout the game. They worship the New Radius Stunners basketball team, particularly one player, #33:Van "Vandal" Dallister. Their base is in the abandoned section of the meat factory.

Gabe
The leader of the crew. He's scared of heights, so he usually has his henchmen tag his own graffiti at heaven spots (places that are life-threatening, such as highway signs). Still, he will face his fears if the opportunity to write is too great to pass up. Early on, Gabe "vamps" Trane, beating him and stealing all of his gear besides his blackbook and his marker. Following this, Trane designs some comedic tags to mock Gabe. Later on, the two are grudgingly forced to combine their efforts to combat a greater evil, though their rivalry persists. He is later on presumably killed after a fight with Trane, being left to fall off the side of an elevated subway station under construction/repair, after revealing that after having a gun held to him by the CCK he told the CCK where Decoy lived.
Spleen
Gabe's Bodyguard, ends up killed or caught by the CCK. He carries around a machete and owns two pit bulls:Dulce and Bomba.
Dip
Gabe's main ally. He always wears expensive clothes and becomes upset when they are damaged. He uses his belt as a combination whip/brass knuckles when fighting. He may have a particular grudge against Kry-1 as most of his pieces seen in game go over Kry-1.
Tina
Gabe's girlfriend. While she may not technicality be a member of the VaNR, she does often join them when they go tagging. She witnesses Gabe and co. beating up Trane, to her dismay, and ends up having feelings for him. She later helps Trane escape the abandoned meat factory after he defeats Spleen in a fight.(voiced by Rosario Dawson)
WWA (Wrong Way Assassins)
It is a crew that can be found somewhere near the highway. The members are Stake and Cuda, and also some nameless characters. Trane meets them after tagging the highway with Gabe. He also meets Stake later, when tagging the CCK HQ.

Government Officials

Mayor Sung
The mayor that sends the message that art is a crime, and tries to make the town look better. Even though he is Trane's enemy, he wants to know more about him and ultimately get him shut down. Sung is the leader of the CCK, the anti-graffiti death squad. Sung also killed Trane's dad on 9/06 some years back. This becomes the focus of the 2nd half of the game. (voiced by George Hamilton)
Police Chief Hunt
Sung's right-hand man, Police Chief Hunt's only goal in life is to "eradicate the rats that plague New Radius", referring to the graffiti artists. He leads the assault on the SFC base and later is ironically killed by the fire he started. Trane tries to save him, but is later framed for his death after video of Trane jumping towards Chief Hunt to rescue him is edited to make it look like he pushed him. (Voiced by Adam West)
CCK (Civil Conduct Keepers)
The CCK are a government controlled police force that attacks any criminal suspect with lethal force, so long as no news cameras are present. They carry body armor, gas masks, and batons. Higher ranking CCK wear silver armor instead of the standard orange and some carry rifles.
Vandal Squad
Often disguised as hobos, the Vandal Squad seems to be a section of the CCK whose only purpose is the eradication of the graffiti artists. Unlike standard CCK, the Vandal Squad do not wear gas masks and have different styled armor, though it is also orange. They also carry electric batons. Their leader is Aunt Beth (voice of Andy Dick).

Graffiti Legends[edit]

Cope2
Best described as a "Bronx bomber and destroyer", Cope2 has been present since 1983.
Futura
Now a professional artist, Futura has been around since the 1970s.
Obey
Known for his stickers of André the Giant, Shepard Fairey(Obey) is a graphic designer from Charleston, South Carolina.
Seen
Born in the Bronx, he was featured in the documentary Style Wars and his tag is known worldwide.
T Kid.
Another great graffiti legend, T-Kid teaches Trane how to create aerosol murals.
Sane Smith
After his brother "Sane" died in the 80s, Smith keeps his name alive. He has been sued by the city of New York for painting the Brooklyn Bridge. Smith is also one of the biggest subway bombers around.
Decoy
One of New Radius's most wanted artists, he is wanted for his extensive knowledge of Miguel Sungs crimes of 9/06. His pieces are of the military art style which probably hints at his service in the army as a Sergeant. His stencils also resemble Banksy's stencils and may have been inspired by him. He is first met at the pool yard after Gabe beats Trane with his crew. His death was the result of Gabe's idiocy. "Decoy" is a fictional character and not a real life graffiti legend.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 72.26% (Xbox)[8]
71.73% (PS2)[9]
70.36% (PC)[10]
Metacritic 71/100 (Xbox) [5]
69/100 (PS2)[6]
69/100 (PC)[7]

Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure received average to positive reviews, scoring 69 out of 100 ("Mixed or average reviews") in Metacritic's average. It received positive press from a few outlets, scoring 87% in GamesMaster magazine, and 8.7 out of 10 on GameSpot.[11] Common criticisms were related to the game's presentation, controls, and camera, although many outlets were impressed by the potential of the concept, and hopes for a more refined sequel. Edge magazine gave that title a 4/10 score and thought it ironic that the game was unpolished, given that it is "based on a culture of reputation, craftsmanship and leaving a mark". Official US PlayStation Magazine was disappointed that the game was "so damn serious" in comparison to Jet Set Radio, a title with a similar premise.

Penny Arcade criticized the game, calling it "God's punishment for an evil world."[12]

In an interview in Metro New York,[13] Marc Ecko was outspoken in his response to these critics, describing gamers as "the guys who got wedgies in high school" and "divas" with a "predisposition to have a bug up their ass for anything urban", who dismissed the game as riding on the coat-tails of Grand Theft Auto solely for having a black character on the cover. The reviewers, he says, are "slaves to the code" and not "slaves to the branding, products, or experience" as he would prefer, and they unfairly compare the game to better-received titles, such as Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. He admits that the game was "not as precise as I would have liked to see", blaming the game's failures on system limitations "that people just can’t understand", and that the title was "as polished as you can make it on a no-hard-drive console like the PS2".

Awards[edit]

  • GameSpot's Best Licensed Music Award 2006
  • Spike TVs 2006 VGA's Gamer's Choice-Breakthrough Performance award for Rosario Dawson
  • Spike TVs 2005 VGA's Best Wireless Game award.

Sequel[edit]

On the 14th of February 2013, Ecko Unltd's official Twitter page has announced that there will be a sequel and that it is currently in development.[14]

Soundtrack[edit]

The following are some of the confirmed songs for the game's soundtrack

In August 2006 Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure won the MTV Video Music Award for best Video Game Soundtrack.

Marketing[edit]

Prior to the release of the official soundtrack, and the game itself, Marc Ecko, Talib Kweli, and DJ Exclusive put together an official mixtape to help promote the game.

Controversy in Australia[edit]

The Australian ABC News channel has reported that Getting Up was refused classification in Australia after its initial "MA15+" rating was overturned after appeals by Queensland's Local Government Association, effectively banning its release in the country. The Federal Classification Review Board, responsible for reviewing the game and concluding to refused classification of the game (under a majority 3 to 2 decision), cited that the game promotes, and provides instruction for illegal graffiti and real-life graffiti artists.[16][17] Marc Ecko stated that he was extremely disappointed with this legal move. Other games heavily focusing around Graffiti, such as Jet Set Radio, have not been banned. Indeed, months earlier, Need For Speed: Most Wanted, a game centred around and glorifying illegal street racing, received a G rating. The full review board report, including case-by-case analysis of contentious material, may be found here: [5].

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]