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Weekly video game releases: 'F1 2010', 'Trackmania', 'FIFA' and 'PES'

Motor racing and soccer games are plentiful in late September, with F1 2010 and Trackmania offering very different takes on competitive driving while FIFA 11 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 vie for attention. Civilization V, Dead Rising 2, Final Fantasy XIV and Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock ensure that the next two weeks offer a variety of diversions for fans of the cerebral, visceral, social and musical.

Civilization V (PC)
Release: North America, September 21. Europe, September 24.
Age Rating: Everyone / 12

The latest and (hopefully) greatest in the acclaimed empire-building series. Players guide one of 18 historical cultures through the ages, making important scientific and social discoveries along the way, and negotiating relations with other civilizations through diplomatic or military means. Civilization IV was famed and feared for the late night sessions it provoked - both newcomers and veterans of the strategy genre will be losing more than a few hours to Civ V. The special editions include separate soundtracks, figurines, and an art book.
Price: $49.99 / €49.99
European Collector's Edition: €69.99
North American Special Edition: $99.99

F1 2010 (360, PC, PS3)
Release: North America, September 21. Europe, September 23. UK, September 24.
Age Rating: Everyone / 3

Twenty-four drivers, 12 teams, and the 19 circuits of the 2010 Formula One motor racing season are crammed into F1 2010. Boasting the same engine that drives the polished Colin McRae: DiRT series, and a crew of F1-obsessed game designers determined to make the final experience as realistic as possible. No Wii version this time around - though it had the exclusive on F1 2009 last year.
Price: $59.99 / €59.99 / £49.99 (360 PS3), €39.99 / £34.99 (PC)

TrackMania Wii / TrackMania Turbo (DS)
Release: Europe, September 24. North America, December 21.
Age Rating: Everyone / 3

TrackMania has grown from nothing to become a popular racing series on the PC. Its unique take on net-based multiplayer and the track creator tool both make it over to the Wii version, and there's a sequel to the first Nintendo DS version out at the same time too. Fast-paced and with some flashy stunts.
Price: €44.99 / $39.99
Wheel Edition: €49.99
TrackMania Turbo: €39.99 / $29.99

Final Fantasy XIV (PC)
Release: September 22 (Collector's Edition), September 30 (standard).
Age Rating: Teen / 12

Along with an early access code, the Collector's Edition for this promising MMO also includes a behind-the-scenes DVD, fold-out map, tumbler, free 30-day pass for a friend, and a journal decorated with FFXIV art. Whether XIV will be able to beat World of Warcraft at its own game remains to be seen but the previous Final Fantasy MMO, FFXI, gained a certain cult status in the years since its own 2002 launch. The PlayStation 3 version of FFXIV is due March 2011.
Price: $49.99 / €49.99
Collector's Edition: $74.99 / €69.99
Monthly subscription: $12.99 / €12.99

Dead Rising 2 (360, PC, PS3)
European release: Europe, September 24 (360 PS3), September 28 (PC).
North American release: September 28 (360 PC PS3).
Age Rating: Mature / 18

Promising the same zombie-slaying action of the first while adding a clever DIY weapon system and a father-daughter relationship into the mix, Dead Rising 2 comes in a variety of flavors, depending on which side of the Atlantic it's purchased from. Each adds more and more trinkets to the package, from a novelty pen in the shape of an anti-zombie medication syringe to an artbook, zombie doll, and promotional film.
Price: $59.99 / €49.99
European SteelBook Edition: €69.99
North American Collector's Edition: $79.99
European Outbreak Edition: €74.99


Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (360, PS3, Wii)
Release: Europe, September 24. North America, September 28.
Age Rating: Teen / 12

With a plot that appears to have been inspired by Brütal Legend, a game once on the books of Warriors' publisher Activision, Warriors of Rock adds a twist to the now-established music game genre, sending players on a quest to save rock music with a little help from KISS, Rush, Dave Mustaine, and some instrument-shaped controllers.
Game disc only: $59.99 / €69.99
Guitar Bundle (game + guitar controller): $99.99 / €99.99
Super Bundle (game + guitar + drum controller): $179.99 / €199.99

FIFA 11 (360, DS, PC, PS3, PSP, Wii)
Release: North America, September 28. Europe, September 30. UK, October 1.
Age Rating: Everyone / 3

A new passing system, overhauled stamina and fitness, tweaks to the career mode and improved goalkeeping (and the option to play as one) differentiate FIFA 11's soccer from last year's version, as well as of course player, team, and kit updates. There's also a free Fifa Superstars game on Facebook which acts as a companion to the main game.
Price: $59.99 / €59.99 / £49.99 (360, PS3); $49.99 / €49.99 / £34.99 (Wii, PC); $39.99 / €29.99 / £25.99 (PS2, PSP); $29.99 / €39.99 / £29.99 (DS)

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 (360, PC, PS3, PSP, Wii)
Release: Europe, September 30. North America, October 5 (360, PS3)
Age Rating: 3 / Everyone

Once king of the hill and now launching yearly attempts to wrestle back the populist crown from FIFA 11, PES 2011 has a fine pedigree. Like FIFA, it improves the way control, stamina, and goalkeeping is handled, adjusts player animation; added to that is a stadium creation mode and an increase in tactical options. The PS2, PSP and Wii versions are released October 28 (EU) and November 2 (NA).
Price: $59.99 / £49.99 / €69.99 (360, PS3); $49.99 / £29.99 / €29.99 (Wii); $39.99 / £29.99 / €29.99 (PSP); £29.99 / €39.99 (PC); $19.99 / £29.99 / €29.99 (PS2)