Without going into spoilers, the more I read about this game, the more I think how overly complicated this game is, and how by forcing the players to concentrate on the mechanics of the game that the developers may have taken the fun out of the game.
A bright side in receiving the guide early is that I can plan the best route; otherwise, I think I be would lost.
Or you could just play the game and see where your choices take you.
Yup. As a matter of fact, thats what really makes Mass Effect so much fun. My first playthrough was very flawed. Some of my people died along the way and I've killled some people I probably shouldn't have. At the end of the day though, the flaws in my play-through make it a more compelling story.