Pre-orders for The Showdown Effect will gain instant access to a closed beta test today, publisher Paradox Interactive has announced. Paradox will also be sending out invites to those who've signed up for the beta here.

The Showdown Effect is the next game from Magicka developer Arrowhead Game Studios. It's a 2.5D arcade-style competitive multiplayer shooter that draws inspiration from '80s and '90s action flicks.

The Showdown Effect launches in March in two different flavors: the standard $10 version and the $20 digital deluxe version. Pre-ordering the standard version includes an exclusive playable character and "Fusion Sabre of Light" weapon on top of the instant beta access; digital deluxe pre-orders get an exclusive character, a pair of costumes and weapons, plus a permanent in-game XP boost, soundtrack download, free copy of Magicka and (phew!) early access to play the final version of The Showdown Effect on March 1.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.