Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure PS2 Review

There’s probably a good few reasons why graffiti isn’t taught in art lessons at school, obviously not wanting to be held responsible for the defacing of buildings is one of them. Teaching such a subject would probably result in the entire school being plastered with wonderful works of art and a few obscenities aimed directly at the teachers as well. Marc Ecko’s: Getting Up has also received a rather hostile reception equal to that of a schools decision to begin teaching graffiti, no more than in Australia where the game has been banned for apparently condoning splattering buildings with paint.

The crux of Getting Up is definitely about spraying your mark throughout the games fictional city of New Radius, but it soon comes to your attention that Getting Up’s DNA is also made up of platforming, fighting and stealth. The game has a large amount of corners covered and manages to avoid doing any one of them a disservice, which obviously results in a very nice experience.

Let’s begin with Getting Up’s major objective, which is to make grimy urban locations brighter with the help of your trusty aerosol can. When you find the correct walls or objects to deface it’s simply a case of walking up to the outline, choosing your desired style and size with the d-pad and then filling it in. You’ll soon learn that spraying too zealously in a single area messes your art up, leaving it with a rather devaluing drip, and as the graffiti here entails accomplishing it as fast as possible with room for little error, this is a bad thing.

Upon completing your wall of art you are rewarded with rep points, which unlock various extras when a required amount of points are met. This means you are encouraged to complete your piece within a time limit, avoid impairing it with drips and making it large whenever possible. The better you succeed with these tasks, the more points you are awarded with and the faster you unlock the next item on the list.

Many of the levels have bonus graffiti and freeform challenges to be found, which adds to your rep points following completion. The freeform challenges involve such delights as filling walls and doors up with art, slapping posters on pillars and more. It’s a repetitive structure at the end of the day, but it does manage to hang together rather nicely.

The platforming sections are pretty simple in layout, and not knowing where to head next isn’t a common problem to contend with. The level design is still excellent, and climbing up and along drainpipes is always an enjoyable task, as is hopping from one thing to the next. The intuition ability meanwhile allows you to scope out the location of your next graffiti spots, which is another thing that makes things simple for you if you are ever wondering where to journey to next whilst living a virtual life in New Radius.

This leaves the combat, which equally pleases along with the rest of the game. The fighting animations are rather brutal, and combos and weapons keep things feeling relatively fresh. Stealth is also an option, which involves you pulling your hood over your head and hitting your human obstacles across the back of the skull with your spray can. You can almost feel the effects of the concussion!

This is all capped off with a well told story and brilliant voice acting from a host of big name stars. We do feel that the game can get a touch repetitive at times and the absence of the opportunity to create your own graffiti is bizarre, but with these negative points aside, it’s a title that has surprised us at just how addictive jumping around and smothering walls in paint can be!