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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 August 2013
Having bought Skyrim on PC at it's release 11/11/11, and having chalked up almost 800 hours in game, as you'd expect iv'e seen a lot of what the game has to offer. But i wanted to ensure that no detail had passed me by, hence my investment into this mighty tome.

PRO(S):
-1117 pages of everything you'll ever want to know about Skyrim & it's DLC, from details on every quest, guild member, enemies to skills & perks etc...
-Pull out map charting all key locations.
-Detailed colored pictures & easy to read text on nice quality paper.

CON(S):
-It weighs a lot, that only a true Dragonborn may lift it (not much hope of relaxing with this on your own throne ;-P).

In conclusion, i'm very happy with the book, despite my own extensive in game experience it has still managed to teach me a thing or two, helping me find new locations, quests & tips on fighting styles etc... It's simply just a pleasure to read in the comfort of your own home. Highly recommended.
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on 12 November 2011
There is no point beating around the bush here: the Skyrim Prima Guide has to be one of the most thorough, helpful and comprehensive guides I have ever used.

For the sake of depth, I have broken down this review into components.

CHARACTER CREATION AND TRAINING
The Guide goes straight into the nitty gritty. It illustrates effectively the ten different races and the important strengths and weaknesses of each. Even better, the game provides a number of helpful archetype characters, demonstrating the various ways to create an effective and yet individual character. The Guide provides information on the various starting abilities, spells, skills and so on which each character can use.

Alongside each racial breakdown, there is a "Tip" breakdown, with a handy evaluation on whether the starting Skills and spells are truly worth going for.

The Guide follows this section with a breakdown of what the Skills and Perks are for each character and what they mean for you when you are playing the game. The Guide's thoroughness may be seen as a flaw for some- there is a hell of a lot of information here to be going on with- but it ensures that even a complete novice to RPG games will understand exactly what a "skill" is (not all players will!).

The Guide then goes on to provide over 50 pages of in-depth hints on how to get the most out of your character: from mining to enchanting, alchemy to the most complex battle tactics, and from buying a house to becoming a vampire, this ensures you really get the most out of your gaming experience.

BESTIARYS AND INVENTORIES

Yet again, the game provides an extremely comprehensive list of all characters, potions, apparel, weapons, food items, enemies (and so on!) you will encounter in the game. This can be a little intimidating at first- the guide sacrificies simplicity for the sake of depth- but this is a certainly of benefit to most players like myself, who are happy to spend a few hours trawling through the guide every once in a while to gain knowledge before play.

A quick note here- I have not yet completed the game, although I am a pretty decent way through, and so far these inventories have been totally invaluable. I will update this review for the sake of accuracy on its true effectiveness later on upon completion.

WALKTHROUGHS
Truly excellent. Each quest is broken down with handy hints, tips and maps, as well as key notes on who you will encounter and the effects of the choices you make. There are plenty of times in the game when you must choose who to ally yourself with from two factions or from two other NPCs- the Guide ensures your choice is informed.

One downside - as the game is so open-ended and such an extreme "sandbox", the guide is not as chronological as some might prefer. This is probably unavoidable though- as each player will make their own game and tackle quests in their own order, any strict chronology is virtually impossible. The contents and index pages ensure you'll find the page you need eventually- it may just take a bit of time!
Another note- the walkthroughs are very thorough, and if you prefer a bit of spontaneity it may be best to refer to it just when you are stuck, or when you are unsure of what decision to make. Otherwise, it may spoil the element of surprise Skyrim is soooo good at.

ATLAS
The true masterpiece of the guide.

If, like me, you are a bit obsessive-compulsive about ensuring you have THOROUGHLY (and I mean thoroughly!) exploring every single area, and combing every bit of the map to ensure you get every random event possible, you will adore this section of the Guide. The Atlas provides details of every single location in the game (even ones you won't find on the in-game map) and details every item, every character, every random event, the difficulty of the dungeons and every other helpful bit of information you could possibly think of.

This is extremely helpful to have open when playing the game, to ensure you don't miss out on that unique Axe or Spell Tome, or whatever other item takes your RPG fancy.

ILLUSTRATIONS
The guide is very nicely illustrated. I have seen other, better illustrated guides (Dragon Age II's for example); however, due to the size of the guide this is probably to be expected. The Guide is primarily functional, although there are some pretty nice aesthetics too- and every illustration provided for items and skills and so on is informative as well as nice to look at.

OVERALL
5/5
The Guide is almost flawless. It is literally essential for someone who wants to dedicate time and effort to getting the most out of this wonderful game. If, like me, you want to dedicate hundreds of hours of your life to it, I strongly recommend purchasing this guide.

When you've spent hours wandering around a dungeon, or just cannot come up with the answer to a puzzle, this Guide is your best friend.
The downsides- a little intimidating in size, and sometimes a little difficult to find the information you need because of this- are merely illustrative of the size of the game it is guiding you through. To provide this kind of advice- detailed, informative and accurate on every single aspect of the game- on an RPG of this size, is no mean feat. Prima done good.
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on 22 January 2014
I got Skyrim Legendary Edition for Christmas recently and decided to get the guide as it was very cheap for such a big book. I've had guides for computer games before (Final Fantasy VII springs to mind) but nothing anywhere near as comprehensive as this. This is truly a labour of love, pretty much every single thing in the game is covered... it must have amounted to 1000's of hours of gameplay and a lot of work for the small team that wrote it.

Plus points:
- Organised into clear sections covering races and abilities, weapons, armour, magic, all the quests, and maps of all the dungeons and major outdoor locations.
- Folding map of Skyrim and Solstheim with every location marked.
- Index of quests by name (very handy) and main index for everything else.
- Mentions other quests or important tidbits during each quest - e.g. don't kill this guy if you want to come back on X quest and find his sword etc. (again super helpful)
- Covers the Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn DLCs comprehensively
Dawnguard quests and locations covered
Large section on building your own house with the Hearthfire add-on
Maps of Solstheim and related locations and all Dragonborn quests detailed

Minus points:
- This is a massive book - about the size of a telephone directory - and as it is paperback, and printed on flimsy telephone directory style paper, you can't really balance it on you and read it at your leisure. It works much better if you've got it on a flat surface and are just flicking through to check the occasional thing.
- There are spelling mistakes but to be honest in a 1100+ page guide that can be forgiven!

In short, you need this in your life. Even if you're the sort of person who wants to experience the game with no spoilers there are times when you will get lost or frustrated and without this book you'd have to resort to internet forums or give up!
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on 20 June 2013
I took delivery this morning (June 20th 2013) and was really excited. I'd already purchased the first release shortly after Skyrim was released back in Nov 2011, but hadn't really used it (partly because you couldn't keep the book open at the pages you wanted to read hands free without breaking the spine of the book. The paper back edition felt really unweildy despite being almost half the size of this legendary edition. This hard back legendary edition, apart from feeling solid, can be opened at 'any' page and laid flat without damage to the spine, which I am really pleased about. It'll mean I can play the game, yet look at the book without having to hold the pages open at the places I want to read about.

It also includes a digital eGuide code, so if you're a collector you won't even need to open up the guide. (though to get at the code you will need to remove the cellophane wrapper. Also included is a reasonable panoramic image of Alduins wall and a large poster sized double sided map of Skyrim showing the location of everything you need to find.

The cover is well designed with a dark bluey slate like colored finish and an almost Celtic like design front and back, with the Skyrim emblem emblazoned over the front of the cover. (I'd loved to have seen a dust sheet made for this book). The dimensions are the usual size for a strategy guide apart from its thickness; i.e. approx 8.5 inch by 11 inch and almost 2 inches thick. As you can imagine, with 1117 pages (plus the back sheets), each page is ultra thin, but thick enough that you can't see through the pages. Every page is crammed full of information about the game with images and/or maps on virtually every page. Everything is well laid out and the Contents, indexes and appendices are all easy to use. There's 40 pages of appendices and index, with sections devoted to achievements & trophies, traders, shrines, unique weapons, unique armor and items, skill books, dragon alphabet, Word wall phrases as well as a general section. Entires are color coded for each of the expansions which is ueful; also, the index is divided into a general index of 15 pages and a quest index of 2 pages.

I think i'll be using this a lot on my second play through of the game. :) I never finished it the first time around as I wanted to wait until all of the expansions were released. (hopefully the Skyrim teams are now working on Fallout 3 which will be announced at E3 2014 and is due for release sometime in 2015)

Apart from the thin pages, this is the most beautiful guide I've ever purchased (and the largest). The book weighs over 2.5Kg. :)
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I bought this as a reference guide for Skyrim, there are some good online resources and "apps" available, however there are times you just want a good book that has everything you might need in one place.

The book is meaty to say the least with a page count of 1120 it's a got a bit of weight to it, not unexpected considering the vast content included. Paper quality is "OK" it's thin but has a coating and with care should be fine for normal use. I'd imagine thick paper would double the size of the already large book, not to mention add cost.

This isn't a book you can just dive into you do really need to use the contents to find what you are looking for though after a while you will have an idea where some sections are (ie weapons, spells etc) One area I might change is add some colour coding to the top of pages that might make it a bit easier to navigate. Included is a large pull out map double sided one side has the entire map of Skyrim and the primary/secondary locations listed, the reverse has Soil Cairn, Forgotten Vale, and Solstheim.

Tips and hints are included, this isn't just a "how to beat it guide" it tells you everything you could possibly want to know from the location of items, quests, characters, weapons, spells crafting level progression. Nothing is missing and just to help players there are specific references to PC/Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game.

Main contents includes:
1: Training (this covers skills such as combat, restoration, books, alchemy, enchanting and adventuring characters you will meet, travelling etc)
2: Inventory, a detailed section on spells, weapons/armour, crafting the list is extensive with all the stats such as damage, cost upgrades etc
3: The "Bestiary" all of the creatures/animals and enemies you encounter their stats and their special abilities as well as tips if it's moving and alive in Skyrim it's listed here.
4: Quests including the sub quests some of these have maps and additional information some quests are less complicated this is a big section as you can imagine
5: Dawnguard/Dragonborn Quests ones specific to the expansion packs
6: The "Atlas" of Skyrim, whilst the included pull out map shows the major locations this gives you much more detail about specific areas including overviews of the local population, points of interest, location of traps and maps of rooms and areas
7: Appendices, this covers achievements/trophies, shrines, unique weapons/armour

It's a good idea to read the first section this has important information on races and development very useful for newer players but also worth a look if you are fairly experienced moving into combat using tactics and training essential reading for those keen to start a new game with a strategy.

Later stages can be read as and when required I prefer to use the book for advice and knowledge rather than as a direct play guide but you can use it as a direct walk through if you wish. Skyrim is such a huge game it's an achievement to have put all this information into a single book. A must have for Skyrim fans.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 January 2012
I ordered this from Amazon's U.S. site and, including p&p, it cost less than a fiver more than the U.K. SRP. You may not feel that it's worth going to the trouble of doing a transatlantic order for a game guide but a) the guide is absolutely extraordinary and b) if you cave and buy this guide from a U.K. retailer then you are playing into the hands of that retailer, who struck an exclusivity deal on the collector's edition of the game and seems to have done the same with the guide. Basically, if you let the retailer's strategy work then online stores will not be able to use their purchasing power to discount gaming-related products in the future, so you'll end up losing financially. Sermon over.

I had already logged (at a conservative estimate) three hundred hours' play on this game, spread across several characters, before I received this guide, and I had already checked out the various web resources. To be honest, I don't usually trust Prima guides, which can be of very variable quality. In this case, though, an encyclopaedic job has been done; in addition to the masses of statistics, there are substantial paragraphs on Skyrim lore and extensive quest details including "Post-Quest Activities" if these are unlocked by completion. There are maps of every significant location which is pretty amazing considering the huge number of dungeons. You are even given tick-boxes so that you can keep track, for example, of every Stone of Berenziah you have collected! This may seem excessive, but the editors have ensured that you have all the information that you could ask for; being able to look up an Alchemy recipe or enemy level readily really matters with this game. There's a large paper map as well, although you do have to tear it out of the book to use it, which is a minor niggle.

Even at 650 pages, something has to give, and in this case it is the artwork. Instead of big pretty pictures you are given thumbnails which, because they are printed so small in full colour, are quite dark and indistinct. This is the price you pay for an A4 book which prints up to seven screenshots on a page that is already full of small-font text. It doesn't bother me, but it might bother you.

The hardback binding is better than some game guides (i.e. the bound pages have not "rippled" dramatically), and there are a couple of bound silk bookmarks that help. Overall, this is a very nice guide well worth the trouble of tracking down.
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on 12 February 2012
To be honest, I am usually someone who's against cheating at games. I almost never use cheats and this is the first time I decided to buy a game guide. I believe that you should beat a game on your own.
However, in the case of Skyrim it is almost necessary to have some kind of help or guidance, because the game is so huge. If you really want to enjoy the whole Skyrim world, you really need this official game guide.
It's very detailed(which is why it's so fat), it covers pretty much everything and it warns you from spoilers.
0Comment| 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I bought this as a reference guide for Skyrim, there are some good online resources and "apps" available, however there are times you just want a good book that has everything you might need in one place.

The book is meaty to say the least with a page count of 1120 it's a got a bit of weight to it, not unexpected considering the vast content included. Paper quality is "OK" it's thin but has a coating and with care should be fine for normal use. I'd imagine thick paper would double the size of the already large book, not to mention add cost.

This isn't a book you can just dive into you do really need to use the contents to find what you are looking for though after a while you will have an idea where some sections are (ie weapons, spells etc) One area I might change is add some colour coding to the top of pages that might make it a bit easier to navigate. Included is a large pull out map double sided one side has the entire map of Skyrim and the primary/secondary locations listed, the reverse has Soil Cairn, Forgotten Vale, and Solstheim.

Tips and hints are included, this isn't just a "how to beat it guide" it tells you everything you could possibly want to know from the location of items, quests, characters, weapons, spells crafting level progression. Nothing is missing and just to help players there are specific references to PC/Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game.

Main contents includes:
1: Training (this covers skills such as combat, restoration, books, alchemy, enchanting and adventuring characters you will meet, travelling etc)
2: Inventory, a detailed section on spells, weapons/armour, crafting the list is extensive with all the stats such as damage, cost upgrades etc
3: The "Bestiary" all of the creatures/animals and enemies you encounter their stats and their special abilities as well as tips if it's moving and alive in Skyrim it's listed here.
4: Quests including the sub quests some of these have maps and additional information some quests are less complicated this is a big section as you can imagine
5: Dawnguard/Dragonborn Quests ones specific to the expansion packs
6: The "Atlas" of Skyrim, whilst the included pull out map shows the major locations this gives you much more detail about specific areas including overviews of the local population, points of interest, location of traps and maps of rooms and areas
7: Appendices, this covers achievements/trophies, shrines, unique weapons/armour

It's a good idea to read the first section this has important information on races and development very useful for newer players but also worth a look if you are fairly experienced moving into combat using tactics and training essential reading for those keen to start a new game with a strategy.

Later stages can be read as and when required I prefer to use the book for advice and knowledge rather than as a direct play guide but you can use it as a direct walk through if you wish. Skyrim is such a huge game it's an achievement to have put all this information into a single book. A must have for Skyrim fans.
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on 23 November 2011
I'll say this for Bethesda: they're games may be as buggy as an entomologist's cupboard on release, but they sure know how to put together a game guide. It's the same thickness and weight as the average telephone book, full colour and 650 pages long.

I had misgivings about buying it a few days after first obtaining Skyrim, fearing that I may accidentally spoil the game, but I saw it there in [insert name of local game shop] for the RRP of £20 (I'll repeat that: RRP is twenty quid. Not £49.99 or any of the other silly prices I've seen), and bought it on impulse.

I'm glad I did. The first hundred or so pages deal with stats, race bonuses and so on, giving you the figures that the Skyrim UI tends to gloss over. A handy chart will tell you which races get a 5-point sneak bonus for example, and other sections will go into detail about suggested character builds.

There are lengthy tables giving details about the alchemical properties of plants, information about enchatments and spells, weapon stats and useful pointers about the crafting and smithing that's been introduced in this game. It also covers perks as well, which I found useful because the wretched perks interface in the game itself makes it very difficult to compare things.

The tome even comes with a map, which appears to be in the ballpark of A1 size. It's currently on the wall next to my PC.

I'll be honest and say now that I haven't read it from cover to cover, because I'm still playing Skyrim. I have however gone through the quests I have completed so far, and compared them to the walkthroughs, and I can vouch for its coverage of the quests I've done so far.

A typical 'Quest' section will give you details of loot, conversation options and also local maps, various tips and also info about follow-up activities for after the quest.

This is far from the flimsy padded-manual that passes for many strategy guides by lesser publishers. It's deep and detailed, and if you're a fan of Skyrim it's well worth £20 of anyone's money. Don't pay the overpriced sums quoted by some of the more unscrupulous vendors on the interweb. It really isn't worth £150.

For the record it's worth pointing out that Bethesda's guides to fallout, Oblivion and Morrowind are similarly hefty :)
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on 19 May 2012
This is positively Skyrim-based geek galore. The quests in Skyrim are pretty straight forward most of the time, but this guide comes into its own with the extra information it can give you, such as where to find all of the Birthstones; how to get the additional and free perks; the locations of all the Thu'ums and their increasing effects etc.

However, the guide does appear to be based on what the game will become when it no longer needs to be patched (i.e. it doesn't inform you if there are any glitches and sometimes doesn't seem aware that not all of the content was released with the original game). If you're currently in possession of a Skyrim that you haven't got round to patching yet then I suggest you do that whilst waiting for this to be delivered.

Also, the big map that comes with it is extremely useful. Every location has been plotted out and it is of more than satisfactory size. I'm gutted that I lost mine.

Hope this helped :)
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