Remember when we’d look at media about dystopian futures and think, “That’s so silly, that could never happen!” Yeah… good times. While there are tons of examples of how we never came close as bad as some imagined we could get, looking back at it now, there were a lot of movies, comics, and games that got it pretty close. With everything going on right now, it would be a perfect time to remaster or remake Marc Eckō’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure.
Released back in February 14, 2006 on the PS2, Xbox, and PC, Getting Up takes place in the corrupt and dystopia city of New Radius. Our main protagonist, Trane (Yes even the game itself points fun at the way it’s spelled) is out to make a name for himself as an underground graffiti artist. Bumping heads with rival crews and gaining both fame and notoriety, he soon lands on the radar of Mayor Sung. Sung runs New Radius with Orwellian tyranny, stamping out arts and freedom of expression in order to gentrify the city and make it perfect for those he deems worthy. And with the C.C.K., the city’s police force reporting directly to him, Sung’s rule runs unchecked. Trane’s journey takes him from goals of fame to goals of freedom as he sneaks, climbs, fights, and tags his way to Sung’s doorstep. I don’t want to give away too much for anyone who’d like to go back and try this game out for the first time but it’s definitely worth it.
Back when this game came out, I absolutely loved it and its story. Drenched in the Hip Hop and Graffiti culture of the mid-2000s, this game had a lot of swag. The story was great and engaging and the acting was a lot better than a 2006 game deserved to be with notable talent such as Talib Kweli, Rosario Dawson, George Hamilton, and the late great Adam West and Charlie Murphy just to name a few. The gameplay, while definitely not perfect, was pretty solid for the time as well. The tagging in the game was pretty solid and a whole lot of fun, and for a game about tagging, and they damn well made sure the tagging was enjoyable. You had a lot of options from simple stickers and posters to full on murals, there’s a great set piece involving the side of a skyscraper. Exploration was solid letting you climb to high and out of the way areas to throw up your tags, and the combat system was… well, it wasn’t offensive. It definitely had its problems but wasn’t broken or anything.
Honestly, aside from the tagging aspect, it makes me think of and early version of Assassin’s Creed, Spider-Man (PS4), or Ghost of Tsushima with it’s combat and exploration. Sucker Punch would be a perfect studio to remake Getting Up from the ground up, especially since they dabbled a bit in graffiti in their Infamous: Second Son game. Imagining taking the exploration of Second Son or Ghost and applying it to Getting Up and making it more open world with a tighter stealth and combat mechanic makes me hope someone from that company reads this article and steals that idea (please steal it).
Marc Eckō’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure deserved more love than it actually got. It was fun, inventive, and surprisingly deep for a game that came out in 2006. In an age where we are getting a lot of remasters and remakes, this one should be at the top of the list. But since that’s just a dream right now, if you are able to play the original, I would HIGHLY recommend it.