The book is nicely illustrated with all the basic info you need, whether you're an experienced Resident Evil veteran or if you are new to the series. All the controls and functions are laid out for you at the beginning, so that you have a head start instead of reading the instructions during game play, where you are likely to be attacked. This guidebook is aimed at players who are using single player or network mode. I still haven't played network mode yet, but the tips that are laid out throughout the guide seem pretty essential in helping you figure out what you should do if one of your on-line allies has taken a certain item, or if they have set off a certain event.
The tips offered for playing in Single mode are very good. The character profile pages give you instructions for using each character's personal skills and items, as well as explaining how to cope with each character if he or she is being controlled by the game's AI. It is worth revising the character profiles, as it gives info on all items that can be acquired using George's medical kit, David's weapon combinations and Alyssa's lock picking events. All of these subjects are repeated throughout the combat sections, weapons guide and throughout the walkthroughs for each scenario. There are detailed descriptions for each enemy encountered, including info on how their strength and attack points vary from each difficulty setting.
The weapons guide offers advice on how to rely on characters' unarmed attacks, as well as an illustrated description on each weapon including it's location and attack power. The same goes for recovery items and important items such as keys, chemicals and the like.
The scenario guides do get confusing in places, and I found myself flipping backwards and forwards through the pages several times, but Resident Evil games are renowned for sending you back and forth, and if you find yourself getting lost with this guide, you can always rely on the nicely detailed maps, each with a legend on where items and weapons are located in each area. Resident Evil Outbreak is really the sort of game in which you want to explore every possibility yourself, but even as you become experienced with the game you may find that this guide reveals events that you were unaware of and prepares you for the tougher challenges in higher difficulty modes. It points out big warning signs of where you may be at risk of an instant death, and there are "cheating ahead" sections for each scenario, displaying all possible codes in case you want to get a quick finish without looking for the right document. Though these walkthroughs are very detailed, the author has used plenty of sarcasm and humour to help lighten the mood if you are feeling edgy from all of the suspense and horror experienced from playing the game. The last few sections of the book provide further map guides and item lists for network mode as well as guides to extras such as "special items" and a guide to completing and using features unlocked in the Gallery mode. Finally, there is an attractive fold out section inside the back cover displaying illustrations and info on how to obtain each character's alternative outfits. I'd say this guidebook pretty much covers every inch of the game, and is much more organised than printing out walkthroughs from various websites for free, and at just over £6, it's definitely worth it.