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The Showdown Effect gets two free characters and maps, plus "terrifying hats"

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The Showdown Effect (opens in new tab) is currently 50% off on Steam (opens in new tab) , and in a startling coincidence (well, probably not) the explosive sidescrolling action game has just been updated with a bunch of new, mostly free stuff. The two additional stages comprise the Tagliatelle Western-themed South Eastwood and Fort Fiesta, while the new characters are...considerably less Wild Westy. Thelma Vayne is a British superspy, while Dr. Johnny Bionic is, you guessed it, a werewolf cyborg. There's also the matter of some "terrifying hats", but I'm too afraid to check if they live up to their reputation. Stick around for the DLC trailer.

As the accompanying blog post (opens in new tab) reveals, "these characters, plus a series of Reddit costume pieces, can be redeemed for free using in-game AC." I'm not sure what AC refers to in this context, but I assume it has something to do with air-conditioning. Meanwhile, "an additional set of Western costume pieces can be purchased for a fistful of dollars", which is a subtle reference to the Clint Eastwood film 'Every Which Way But Loose'.

Here is most of what I just said, in trailer form. (Oh, and here's (opens in new tab) what we thought of the game.)

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.