Pressed in Gold: A Review of the Assassin’s Creed - Leap Into History Limited Edition X5LP Box Set
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The 15th Anniversary for the Assassin’s Creed series is still being celebrated after 2022. There are continuous releases of merch and transmedia that are tied to the event, the latest of which is the release of the Leap Into History Vinyl Box Set from Laced Records. This release was presented in two options, a Deluxe 5LP box set for $110US, and a Limited Edition 5LP in Gold for $120US (which is now sold out). The differences between the two versions come down to the Limited Edition including a slip mat, art print, and the ‘gold nugget’ color of the vinyl records. After a few production delays, the vinyl collections shipped out across the globe this last month (original shipping date was set for January, 2023).
The vinyl was shipped in a very form fitting shipping box with some packing peanuts over the cover which I liked as it is always fun to “uncover” the gorgeous black and gold packaging. The opaque images of the protagonists of the series and the Isu inspired trim of the image border gives a sleek and quality expectation of what is within the box sleeve.
While it may be difficult to see in this image, the side where the vinyls are removed from the case read “Assassin’s Creed Leap Into History” on the left/top and then the disc number on the right/bottom. The order of having Disc one on the bottom which is really the front of the packaging makes sense, but it is one of those nit-picking things that I argue with myself when organizing things on shelves, in order of position. However, as vinyls should not be stored flat on a shelf, this labeling makes sense. The following section does bring up a similar issue with the decision of labeling sides A and B of a record.
Each of the five vinyl sleeves holds music for two of the games, ordered by their Genetic Memory time periods (which I very much enjoyed seeing). Where my issue with this comes from, is the first side I saw when removing Disc 1, was Bayek from Assassin’s Creed Origins, or the “Side B” for this record. I understand that this comes from the Western reading order of Left to right, where with media printed for said audience, opens from the right side and is hinged/spined on the left. However, seeing each of the #AC15 artworks for the games (which was composed of the original game art with the grayscale filter and the golden logo from each game. The first set of “Side A” covers AC Odyssey, Valhalla, AC II, Black Flag, and the combo Unity/Rogue. The “Side B” shows Origins, Assassin’s Creed, Brotherhood/Revelations, AC III, and Syndicate. All of the current games with this exception of Liberation are present and broken down into different eras.
When you pull out the vinyl, you have the slip sleeve that opens from the top so that the vinyl itself isn’t damaged or won’t fall out from the side. The front side of each removed sleeve has a simple design for the AC 15 release, but nothing district to speak to. The reverse sides are where the bulk of the collection’s information on the music itself. Disc 1: Classical Era, Disc 2: Middle Ages, Disc 3: Renaissance, Disc 4: Enlightenment, Disc 5: Enlightenment/Modern Era. The title of the game(s) and time period(s) are listed below the Era label, followed by the Composer(s) and the titles of the selected 5 - 9 songs for each game. The shortest list is for Brotherhood/Revelations at 5 songs and the longest is Unity/Rogue with 9. Some of my favorites are included such as the “Legend of the Eagle Bearer” for Odyssey and of course “Ezio’s Family” for AC II. I really wish there were some different sea shanties on the Black Flag vinyl such as “Running Down to Cuba” as that is a favorite of mine, but it's completely understandable that the track listings have to be limited or there would be double the number of records in the box set.
The ‘Golden Nugget’ LPs are where this release shines the most. The color is so gorgeous and the stamped vinyls are unique to each individual bundle so my vinyls will not look the same as anyone else’s. They remind me of the golden sands of Origins in a way. Each vinyl has the logo for Side A or B in the center, though the placement of which way is “up” varies and isn’t lined perfectly, but again that is a nitpick.
As listed on Laced’s site, the differences as I mentioned earlier are the golden color, art print, and slipmat. The art print is the AC15 logo artwork on a thin though nice quality paper. This however didn’t feel like a print but more of a protective artwork that would be on the front of a game that is removed with the plastic wrap to show the actual cover of the game. I would have liked to see a thicker print on gallery quality paper like what we have seen with the art books for the series. If I hadn’t remembered that this was an art print, it could have been tossed away by accident.
Now on the other hand, the slipmat is really cool and something that fits perfect with the vinyl box set. The large golden AC15 logo to place below your vinyl to prevent damage from the record player itself. While I am new to vinyl collection, my wife who has a decent collection of albums was excited to see that it was included with the Limited Edition.
As of this posting, the Limited Edition is sold out, but the Deluxe Edition is still available from Laced Records’ US/Canada store for $110US. However as of March 10 when they announced via Twitter that the vinyl was in stock, they stated “Last few left” in that post, so it is unclear how close they are to selling out completely. Amazon US is showing a preorder for what I assume is the Standard Edition of the 5 LP bundle, at a higher price of $130US+ and a release date of April 7, 2023. So it does appear that fans can purchase the music in the future, but may not get the special packaging that the deluxe version includes. I would recommend looking into this set if you are a fan of the great music that comes from the Assassin’s Creed series so that we can see further support for physical releases in the future.
About the Author
Mike Smith is a collector of all things Assassin's Creed and a major supporter for the transmedia platform for the series. With nearly a full library of Assassin's Creed media, he is exploring the universe in order of Genetic Memory and waiting eagerly for the next story to be released.