I purchased my Collector's Edition at a local Best Buy but decided to write a review here.
I have a couple of hours worth of the game, so I can not properly critique the game aside from stating that it holds true to the traditional game mechanics and controls with some exciting new elements added all taking place within the vast and beautiful city of Rome. It has a decently intriguing story with a well written dialogue. I felt more of an addictive sense of urgency from the ACII story line that kept me really hooked, although Brotherhood is good, I can easily put it down. At least for now, maybe the excitement will build? The game thus far presents the feeling of being a massive add on to its predecessor rather then being a full fledged sequel, which was expected by most, I believe.
I have only played one round of multiplayer, so I'll reserve my judgment. I do look forward to exploring it more. However, I do dislike that you can't have a friend playing on the same console, though it makes sense considering the stealthy game play, it's still a bummer.
The primary focus of this review is regarding the contents of the Collector's Edition. The Jack In The Box (Doctor) is made of hard and rubbery plastic. The paint job is very bland with no highlights or shading and lacks precision in some places. There is even a patch of noticeable clear glue on his face where it must have dripped down when they attached his hat. That's Chinese quality for you. Despite that, its not a horrible collectable (it has a simplistic charm) and it does pop up very quickly when you unlock it. The Art Book is very small, not even the size of an XBox game case. The pictures are gorgeous, however tiny, containing mostly landscapes and different groups of people, but not all of them. The Map is made from the same material as XBox game manuals, small and folded up. It's certainly not intended for reference, just decoration. The backside has the same picture as the game case with printed signatures from the more prominent Ubisoft team members who worked on the game. The Special DVD is not very expansive, there are a couple of short summaries about story and production (not a "making") of the game, handful of promotional trailers, a brief black and white comic preview and a six song soundtrack you can listen to if you play the game or download it. The special additional single player content and multiplayer character (Officer) were a nice bonus.
Personally, I am a little disappointed, but I don`t regret my purchase. I would advise waiting for a better deal on the price for both the game itself and the Collector's Edition. Ultimately, it depends on how much you love the series (and collectables) to determine whether it's worth the extra $40. Hope this helps!