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The Showdown Effect launches beta sign-up page and trailer, takes aim for March launch

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Arrowhead - the guys responsible for the barmy Magicka - are now taking sign-ups for the beta of their upcoming The Showdown Effect, a sort of 2D side-scrolling Action: Half Life. The game features up to eight players battling it out with weapons ripped from the hands of cheesy 80s action heroes. In that spirit, they've released a trailer that crams in as many clichéd one-liners as a Google for "stupid things said in bad movies" can find.

You can sign up for that macho madness at The Showdown Effect's beta page . If you also refer three friends, you'll get a guaranteed place for when the trial starts.

If you prefer the passive entertainment of watching others run and gun like idiots, Arrowhead will be livestreaming the game tonight from 7pm GMT over at Paradox Interactive's Twitch TV channel.

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.