Gas Powered Games' much-anticipated latest instalment in the Age of Empires franchise has been released today. Age of Empires Online (PC) is available to purchase both online and from retail outlets. The game has launched with the Greeks and the Egyptian civilizations, and players will be able to get 40 hours of free gameplay out of these two civilisations. The game can be downloaded from here for free.

However, those looking for more than 40 hours of gameplay will be more interested in the extras that have been released today. First, we have the Premium Civilization Packs. More details on the extra gameplay features added by these packs can be found here.

"Premium Greek Civilization Pack" - $19.99 / £14.99
The greater your power, the greater your empire! Take your free-to-play Greek Civilization to the next level by unlocking Rare and Epic gear, Advisors, and Ranked PVP; increasing your Capital City warehouse storage; adding more Workshops; and receiving Coin when other players buy from your stores. For an unrivalled Age of Empires Online experience, get the Premium Greek Civilization Pack today!
"Premium Egyptian Civilization Pack" - $19.99 / £14.99
Make all bow down to you, oh, great Pharaoh! Take your free-to-play Egyptian Civilization to the next level by unlocking Rare and Epic gear, Advisors, and Ranked PVP; increasing your Capital City warehouse storage; adding more Workshops; and receiving Coin when other players buy from your stores. For an unrivalled Age of Empires Online experience, get the Premium Egyptian Civilization Pack today!
The Booster Packs will add new game modes or new storylines. The first of these was also released today:

"Defense of Crete Booster Pack" - $9.99 / £4.99
Pack up your army and head to Crete! King Minos needs your help to defend his island from invaders—and he’s sure to enrich your coffers if you succeed. Beat back waves of relentless invaders as you protect the sacred Minoan Wonders from being destroyed. For even more fun, invite a friend to team up against the barbarian attackers. Earn new gear and awesome rewards for defending Crete!
As a special launch offer, players can get both Premium Civilisation Packs and the Defense of Crete Booster Pack for a bundle price of just $39.99 / £29.99. Completionists will be keen to know that all three pieces of content are required to gain the full 1,150G that the game currently offers. This bundle will save early purchasers a total of $9.98 / £4.98, and can be downloaded from here. The duration of this offer is currently unknown, so don't leave it too long, but keen players may want to leave it long enough to read on to the bottom of the article!

Empire Extras will add more cosmetic options when customising your city. As promised, the first four packs, two for each civilisation, have also been released today.

"Bountiful Bushes: Empire Extras" - $4.99 / £2.49
Glorious gardens are a hallmark of legendary empires. Beautify your Capital City using these Blueprints of Egyptian-themed shrubbery. Once you have customized your empire, show it off to your friends! Includes 10 shrub types that you can use as many times as you like to beautify your Capital City
"Ornate Ornaments: Empire Extras" - $4.99 / £2.49
A mighty Pharaoh deserves a beautiful empire. Beautify your Capital City using these Blueprints of amazing Egyptian-themed statues and decorations. Once you have customized your empire, show it off to your friends! Includes 10 statue and decoration types that you can use as many times as you like to beautify your Capital City.
"Glorious Gardening: Empire Extras" - $4.99 / £2.49
Cultivate garden envy with Greek-themed bushes and fountains. Beautify your Capital City using these Blueprints of amazing Greek bushes and fountains. Once you have customized your empire, show it off to your friends! Includes 10 bush and fountain types that you can use as many times as you like to beautify your Capital City.
"Startling Statuary: Empire Extras" - $4.99 / £2.49
Cast a stately impression with Greek-themed statues. Beautify your Capital City using these Blueprints of amazing Greek statues. Once you have customized your empire, show it off to your friends! Includes 10 statue types that you can use as many times as you like to beautify your Capital City.
You probably want to know the reason why I encouraged you to read on until the end of the article. Well, that's because of the final offer. For "a limited time", players can buy "Season Pass I", which automatically gives access to the first six months of Age of Empires Online content as soon as it is released and at a 30% discount. This includes all content released on or before February 16th, 2012. Microsoft has confirmed that the upcoming Premium Persian and Celt Civilization Packs are included, as well as all of today's content. As the upcoming Skirmish Hall Booster Pack is also due to be released before the end of 2011, it is fair to assume that this too will be included. The pass is priced at $99.99 / £74.99 and can be downloaded from here.

We will keep you up to date with any future content as it is announced!
Credit for this story goes to tsunamishadow
Rebecca Smith
Written by Rebecca Smith
Rebecca is the Newshound Manager at TrueGaming Network. She has been contributing articles since 2010, especially those that involve intimidatingly long lists. When not writing news, she works in an independent game shop so that she can spend all day talking about games too. She'll occasionally go outside.