1. This is a sturdy, well put together book. The cover is nice enough but careful handling this book with your bare hands because you will leave noticeable smudges. The pages are crisp and strong with vibrant colors for the art and well sized text. Also, the Bioware team autographs grace both the front and back inner covers. It's a nice touch overall. A note to console owners of the game: this guide features screenshots of the PC version of DA. You will see many screens that are not a part of the console UI.
2. The bonus lore sections (not in the standard version of the guide) contain some fantastic background information on everything from the geography, history and cultures of Thedas to some stunning D&D-esque artwork and concept drawings. I'm not sure how big a deal this is for some as most all of it will wind up on unofficial wikis but it's a nice to have it in book form.
3. The walkthrough presented for the mainline quest is thorough and is made to get you though the game as directly as possible for those who just want to get to the end quickly.
4. The first few sections covering character builds, party make ups, talents, skills and combat tactics offer excellent advice and examples. The section on companion AI scripts alone is worth the read for those who want to get in depth with that.
5. The book's layout is very straightforward. The first few sections cover the basics of gameplay (keep in mind the author assumes you've read the instruction manual packed in with the game) then you have sections covering your companions, NPCs, equipment lists, vendor lists and locations, the main walkthrough, a bestiary, side quests listings, section covering PC achievements as well as a list of console achievements and trophies and the aforementioned Lore sections.
1. This book is rife with spoilers! Way too many in my estimation and they're hard to avoid. In fact, if you buy this book, I recommend you DO NOT read the sections covering your companions. Far too many story points have been ruined for me through casual browsing alone! Worse still, there are no warnings before any of the spoilers so read with caution!
2. The section covering the side quests is very skimpy with practical information. For the most part you are told how to initiate the quest or how to find it. On some of them it will list steps that need to be taken but most are just general descriptions of the quest itself. For many of the side quests there are no listings of enemies, bosses or rewards associated with it. For the most part you're left to figure it out on your own. Personally I can live with this but I would have liked a reference I could go to after I've beaten a quest to see what my other options were.
3. There are many typos and grammatical errors in this book. Not comically so but enough to be noticeable.
4. The bestiary suffers from the same problems as the side quests listings. The information on a given enemy is usually nothing more than it's Codex entry found in the game. Very few of the listings offer practical advice on combat or weaknesses.
Frankly, practical advice and walkthroughs that offer more than this guide does will sooner or later be available on unofficial Wikis and other game sites. That said, despite the negatives, I don't regret buying the guide because, for me, part of the fun with old-school western rpgs is figuring things out as you go and Dragon Age is as old-school as it gets. I don't think the guide is worth the MSRP but at the discounted price Amazon is offering I think it's a good pick up, especially if you've become a fan of the DA:O setting like myself.