having the Hardcover for a year now, and recently gotten the PDF file, I will be reviewing the physical copy, which can be carried over to the PDF.
the hardcover is really great quality, I love the colors to fit the theme of the dark and bleak world of world of darkness (CofD). it gives your rules to make ordinary humans living in the World of Darkness setting and see if they will survive it and not go insane in the process.
my players love the system, and for me as a storyteller, the d10 system makes it much easier to limit dies and it is not super number crunch like DnD/Pathfinder which is where I came from.
I love the art and extra materials in the book, if you get the Chronicles of Darkness book, it comes with a section that has the God-Machine Chronicle setting and rules to play in that setting. it is optional but it is nice to have the option to play that setting. character creation is seamless! I guided my players through the creation process, and while they were confused about certain things, when I guided the creation, it was a ooooh! moment, where it all came together and the longest it took with one player is roughly 1.5 hour, the shortest was 30 minutes. as a storyteller, I really appreciate this, as it does not take forever like DnD/Pathfinder (especially pathfinder! takes about 2 hours to make a character).
my complaint, which is a common problem which most of the Onyx Path/White Wolf books, finding the information I need or formatting of the book to find the information you need. this may not be a problem for the PDF as you can Cntl+F what you're looking for, but I bought the book so I can have it as a quick access rather than pull it up on my phone, tablet, or laptop. this is more of a table practice, but the less distractions on the table, the more immersive the players will be. again, this is just one complaint, one that can be fixed with the PDF.
overall game play is really fun! while Chronicles of Darkness is the "core rulebook" as of this writing, most of the major books, Vampire, Werewolf, and Mage are in their 2nd edition which you do not need CofD base to run those games, but they carry over well with each other. the awesome thing about the CofD/NWoD setting is all of the NWoD books connect well, so in theory you could have a sandbox city where Vampires, Werewolves, Mages, live in the city and have a cell of Hunters as well.
I highly recommend this book as a great starter game, see if you want to explore the CofD setting and rules, if you and your group enjoys the setting, then you can introduce Vampire the Requiem, Werewolf the Forsaken, and Mage the Awakening.
[5 of 5 Stars!]