Cliffhanger Productions' started pre-production on Shadowrun Online only recently, and it doesn't expect to have a beta for its free-to-play, browser-based revival of the cult-favorite cyberpunk franchise for another year, but you might not have to wait that long to get an early taste.

The upcoming beta for Jagged Alliance Online, another revival for a fan-favorite series by the same studio, has a Shadowrun mission map. "It won’t have the SRO gameplay, but at least it helps people imagine what the game would visually be like," Cliffhanger explains.

This is all possible because Jagged Alliance Online uses the same engine, and has a similar technical base and turn-based core mechanics. The developer emphasizes, though, that the two titles will still have very different atmospheres and gameplay approaches.

"While JAO is all about running a group of mercs and tactically overcoming the opposition, SRO will focus on one character per player, more roleplaying and have a lot more interaction with the environment, hacking, magic and infiltration," says the developer in an RPS interview.

Cliffhanger also says that it's considering crowdfunding a portion of the game, which will allow fans to get an early preview of Shadowrun Online if they send some cash to support its development.