"Another great game that no one will play"

Like many gamers, I remember reading about Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure on the internet and in magazines, but as most of us did, I immediately labeled it as just another video game made solely to advertise something. Then I began to hear things about it. That's when the Gamespot review came out, and while I don't rely on Gamespot to tell me what's good and what's bad, it was still a definite surprise. The one big thing that got my attention was that it was based in an oppressive, almost totalitarian society, which is a subject that greatly interests me. After I heard more positive talk about it on message boards, I decided to give it a try.

To start off, I'll touch upon the graphics. Graphically, I think it's a very nice looking PS2 game. It compares with some AAA titles, but the PS2's graphical power came to a close a couple of years ago, so it's still not the best looking game you can find on the market, of course, but don't let that dissuade you. The graphics are pleasing to the eye, and are definitely enjoyable.

And though the ingame graphics may have become a tad outdated, the cutscenes are very high quality, and they have a certain style to them that is incredible, almost art like, which makes perfect sense as the game's theme is graffiti. I was always paying attention to the cutscenes, and I'm really glad the developers went the extra mile and made them so wonderful.

As for the sound, well, it's sound. It's not incredible, it never wowed me, but then again, I never thought it was bad. The voice acting for Trane and a few other key characters are pretty well done, but there are times when a character will show up (more often than not it's a legend) and it makes you wonder if the actors just came in, pressed record, and started reading from the script. In all, not bad.

Like any game, the real meat of it is the gameplay, and this is no exception. There are generally 3 things you'll be doing in the game: Sneaking around (climbing up pipes, jumping from rafter to rafter, etc), fighting, and making graffiti.

Sneaking around is standard, and usually pretty linear. You will almost always know where to go, and what to do. In fact, the whole game is generally like that, so if you hate linear games, steer clear of this one.

The fighting system really impressed me, especially since it's not the focus of the game, so you'd think the developers would just throw an average system in there. Not the case. Fights can be very graceful, and lots of cool moves can be done, if you know what you're doing. If you don't, be prepared to get beat down, many times. Though the fighting system was great, I still think some work could be done to it, probably in creating some type of lock on option, for when you're fighting many enemies at once, as it can be a huge inconvenience not having a whole lot of control who you fight.

What you'll find yourself doing the most in the game is making graffiti. In the beginning of every level, you pick 4 graffiti designs from your "black book" and that's what you have to work with for the entire level, besides an occasional one, that'll usually be level specific.

While spraying, you need to be conscience of a variety of things. Time, if you maximized its size, and drips. There may be another occasional one, but if you remember those 3, you'll always do great. The first two are easy. You will usually always have enough time to finish, even if you're an obsessive artist like myself, and feel the need to fill in all the color you can (which you don't necessarily have to do). Drips aren't usually a problem either, as long as you're careful. Over all, the graffiti system isn't groundbreaking, but it is fun, and rarely does it get repetitive.

There is one issue I have with the spraying system though. Every time you start spraying, the camera becomes fixed; unmovable. Occasionally, it gets fixed at a weird angle, in which you won't be able to see all of your art, or it'll seem too small. This is hardly ever a huge issue, but it's enough of an inconvenience that I wanted to bring it up.

There's also story here, and it's a good one at that. I won't give you the details, just rest assure that you'll be satisfied. The only thing I would have done different would be to show a news report at the end of every section (there are 11, and they each have their own subsections) or something to show you the people's reaction at what you've done, like Freedom Fighters. But this is more of a suggestion then something I didn't like.

To sum it up, pick this game up now. This game is in no what way an endorsement for Marc Ecko's clothing company, so trample those thoughts in our heard about that now. There is a game underneath the title, and it's a good one at that. Though it's sad to say that this is just another game joining the ranks of Beyond Good & Evil, and Gitaroo Man as great games no one ever played. I would have given this game a nine, but the lock on issues, voice acting, and occasional camera angles bring it down to an 8.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 03/29/06

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