It seems that Bungie is actually being smart with all the money they are making off of the Halo franchise. I honestly wasnt too sure about the quality of the guide book before I got it (not having purchased one for any of the previous Halo games). The only reason that I even decided to break down and get this was because I was seriously stuck on one of the later levels of the Campaign, not to mention having some trouble getting some of the achievements. So, the big question: was it worth it? Answer: eh, I guess.
Unfortunately for me, the guide book didnt help me in the ways I was expecting and hoping it would. It didnt give me the level of detail per level that I was hoping to see in case I got stuck (I found my way out eventually on my own), and it seemed pretty dense in places it didnt really have to be. My biggest gripe about this book would have to be that it never gave me any clear instructions on how to get the achievements. It shows what the achievements are and the conditions required to get them, but no clear instruction on how to get them, which is extreamly frustrating.
On the plus side however, it IS plenty detailed. While there are some parts that I dont really like or need, like the maps and layouts, the walkthrough is pretty straight forward and will for the most part get you thought the game without too much of a problem. You get your list of weapons, enemy dosier, human and covanent vehicles, etc, instruction on the new control system (it is a bit different from Halo 3) and so on. It goes over the Firefight section of the game pretty quickly though, which is understandable since there isnt much there to be said: Survive as long as you can.
The one thing that suprised me about the guide, and ultimately what I like about it was how it addresses the second half of Halo 3: ODST, which is the multiplayer CD. If you dont know already, ODST comes with 2 discs; the Campaign and the multiplayer. The multiplayer has the huge perk of having all of the Halo 3 multiplayer maps to date (an attempt at raking in some new money I think). Anyway, the guide pretty much takes your though each map and shows you were weapons, ammo and power ups are hidden, different varients of levels, different kind of games (slayer, oddball, king of the hill, etc), and even gives great stratigic information like the best sniping spots on each map. Basically the guide is geared towards a Halo newby and serves as something of a textbook for Multiplayer 101. Even being a Halo veteran, I found looking at the multiplayer information very useful. This part of the guide actually takes up a good portion of the later half of the book, so there is plenty to look at.
So yeah, I think that the guide for ODST is pretty good. Could be better, but it serves its purpose for the most part. It looks nice, its pretty helpful, but is it worth the twenty bucks you'd find it for in your various game distribution? naa, not really. But like I said, good help always comes at a price.