Mark Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure

Game review by
Aaron Lazenby, Common Sense Media
Mark Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure Game Poster Image
Gritty, well-drawn graffiti game for adults.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Beating up cops and security guards so you can spray paint on public property doesn't sound like model behavior. But you ultimately use graffiti in public spaces to speak out against political corruption and police brutality. Of course, vandalism=conscientious resistance is a hard sell, even if you appreciate the artistry of murals and wildstyle.

Violence

Enemies don't die, but you do beat them with your fists, wood planks, spiked bats, televisions, etc. Cut scene depicting main character's beat down at the hands of a rival gang is fairly brutal.

Sex
Language

Standard issue street talk, studded with "f---" and the like.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game presents graffiti as street art, not street crime. The heroes are the graffiti crews who paint on public and private property while violently resisting police authority and the intrusion of rival artists. The language is strong, and the violence is consistent with the dark, back-alley settings: Players beat enemies with fists, wood planks, spiked bats, televisions, etc. The game promotes hip-hop fashion designer Mark Ecko, and features iPods.

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written bygooruman April 9, 2008

THis game is trying to picture a ghetto life style.

The game was at it's best an average game. The game has some issues with swearing and glorifying graffiti. This game did noy teach any one any thing but ho... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

What's it about?

In the controversial MARK ECKO'S GETTING UP: CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE, players control Trane, a young resident of New Radius city looking to make a name for himself as a graffiti artist. He's discovered trying to "get up" and "go over" -- tag his name and paint graffiti over rivals' work with spray paint, stencils, stickers, and posters -- in an abandoned pool where graffiti legends ply their trade. After suffering a brutal beat-down at the hands of another crew, Trane embarks on a mission of revenge and establishes himself by crossing out the work of his adversaries. But as the oppressive regime of Mayor Sung cracks down on the youth culture and dissent, Trane joins forces with his enemies to disrupt the cruelty and corruption radiating from city hall.

The game mixes Prince of Persia-style climbing and stealth, crude combat sequences, and mission-based graffiti challenges.

Is it any good?

The game benefits from obvious care from its developers. Top-notch voice acting talent includes notable stars such as rapper Talib Kweli, Brittany Murphy, Andy Dick, and renowned graffiti artists, and rap impresario Sean "Diddy" Combs lends his voice and handles the music direction. The beautiful environments feature notable graffiti artwork from known artists and the storyline is thoughtfully developed.

Getting Up is a genuinely fun game when placed in the right hands, but there certainly are plenty of reasons for parents to be concerned about the content. Mature players may appreciate the well-drawn world, and it may inspire them to consider complex issues ranging from freedom of expression to the commercialism of hip-hop culture. But this game is not for teens and tweens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why a multimillionaire hip-hop fashion designer and other successful members of the hip-hop community committed their talents to a game about graffiti. Are they exploiting criminal behavior to sell their products (an argument often leveled at hip-hop culture)? Or are they showcasing -- through the use of real graffiti artists' voices and works -- a legitimate and marginalized mode of expression?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 2
  • Price: $49.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Atari
  • Release date: May 3, 2006
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood, Strong Language, Violence

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