The book is pretty thick at 480 pages and packed with information. The type is fairly small, but not cringing small. The difference between this and the normal edition is the hardcover and there are 32 pages of extra content (art and behind the scenes stuff). Mine's numbered 97590, so I guess they printed a lot of collector's edition.
The book is split into a few main parts: Training, Main Quest, Side Quest, Tour of Mojave Wasteland and Appendices.
The Training section basically talks about the game mechanics and character development. There's an explanation for all the attributes, perks, skills, etc available, all of which I find very useful as I'm new to Fallout. There are also suggested character builds with recommended stats and suggestions on how to spend you Skill points. And of course, there are weapon information and enemy profiles.
The walkthrough section is detailed and complete with all the items you can find during any particular quest. To avoid spoilers, just skip the text and follow the quest flowchart which is basically a list the prerequisites required for the quest. Items you can find are marked by big icons.
Side quests come in at an overwhelming 150 pages, more than twice the pages for the story quest. Wow. They are as detailed as the main walkthrough. This where you can find cool items, gain extra experience and visit strange places. I might take a year traveling through the desert to find all these side quests without the guide. You can be sure you won't miss any even if you miss talking to any characters.
Maps come in a few form and they are very useful. The pullout poster map has 3 maps showing the roads, enemy hangouts and collectibles respectively. In the book, the maps are close-ups of areas and blueprints of buildings with details down to the room level, and the list of collectibles and quests.
If you're a collector-type of player in the game, then this book (or the paperback edition) is for you. I'm not too sure the extra 32 pages of art/stuff/hardcover is worth that extra $6 or so - but it's not too much anyway.
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