This 320 page hardcover guide for Mass Effect 2 is full colour with an excellent hardcover of N7 logo featured on Shepard's environment suit — droplets of water stand out as they are printed glossy on an otherwise matte cover.
After having reviewed the Prima's Collectors' Edition guide for Assassin's Creed II, this guide was kind of disappointing by comparison. For one thing, the quality of the paper used for the book to be pretty soft and flimsy, like those in mass produced magazines, definitely not of a collectors' edition.
Inside, you find the usual walkthrough, list of weapons, armour, skillsets, mineral locations etc. The spoiler-free walkthrough is pretty mundane and nothing to write home about, and appears to have been written in a hurry right before the deadline.
As with the other recent BioWare game, Dragon Age: Origins, the Mass Effect 2 universe allows a high level of interactivity, where your actions and decisions affect the outcome of the game in a profound way; the guide does remind you at crucial points of the walkthrough, but that's about all it does with no detail elaborations. Even the strategies for completing the stages are pretty skeletal.
The presentation of the guide is pretty simple too, just a list of the missions, and short descriptions of each mission which is nothing you would not find in the game itself, readers might find the guide pretty wordy although there are plenty of screenshots.
The roughly 25 pages of concept art at the end of the book looks like it was included as an afterthought. Quite a lot of the pieces look like screenshots from the game itself, some would appear quite familiar as the collectors' edition of the game includes a (small) art book too. Even the included wall poster disappoints.
If you are looking for a high quality guide book to complete your experience of Mass Effect 2, you might be disappointed with this guide. You might consider getting this if you want to complete your collection of the game's collectibles, but if you do not have the cash to spare, just settle for the normal paperback edition, there is nothing you would miss.
3 out of 5 stars
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