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Blair Witch Hands-On Preview: You will want to protect this dog with your life

Let's just put that out of the way: I spent most of my time in the video game Blair Witch

patting the dog. Believe me, you will want it. Your loyal dog companion Bullet is the only thing you need to do in Blair Witch. This becomes a scary little retrospective look at an era when state-of-the-art camcorders were on. It's just as important to your (limited) arsenal as your camcorder, cell phone, and flashlight, but it's also a very adorable partner to protect you from the mysterious horrors of Black Hills.

-After looking for nine-year-old Peter Shannon named Ellis in the depths of the forest, you're armed with a camcorder, a walkie-talkie, a flashlight and a bullet. All have their uses, but Bullet is used most frequently by the minute. You can give him orders in a number of ways: come, search, refer (who would have ever chosen this order), stay, stay close and caress, and I've been told that the way You treat him, his behavior later in the game will affect. So patting on him is not just something you want to do, but also something you should do.

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When I started my search at the entrance to the forest, I told Bullet to use Seek, which serves as a collective command to identify key objects and paths. As I stepped deeper into the forest and the sky turned a sickly yellow, I started to get angry as he drove off. Finally, I wanted my little buddy to attack me.

It did not help that the Blair Witch video game disoriented you. It takes its mark from the movie where shit suddenly falls and you're not really sure what that shit is, but you know you just have to run, which I've spent a lot of time in the demo. Environments will suddenly integrate into themselves or begin to get in and out of reality, blindly heading for safety. This is a clever way to make sure you feel completely helpless. Part of the demo showed me how I moved through a pitch-black cave. My flashlight stuttered on weak batteries in the 90s before the LED time.

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Like the movie, the Blair Witch video game does not want to be explicit about its horrors; The enemies in Blair Witch's The Video Game are barely discernable blurs, but very omnipresent. Bullet will help you find them – his growling alerts you to their presence – and you essentially "fight" them by pointing your flashlight at them like Alan Wake (though certain events that I've seen on them suggest that this is not a consistent rule).

Later in the demo, I found my first videotape for the legendary series camcorder, which you can go over to change your environment. In this case, I was winding through the footage of a door that was opened to open the same door in my reality. As for solving puzzles, it's a bit basic, but it's a nice little twist to make the camcorder relevant in an interactive environment.

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The demo ended with a repetitive, disorienting walk through the witches' house, complete with spooky childrens handprints and a very effective jump start. Unfortunately, Bullet was nowhere to be seen in this section. and though I've been told he can not be killed in the game, his storyline remains a mystery. I'm looking forward to playing Blair Witch The Video Game's entire 5-6 hour experience to make sure that fucking Doggo does not die.

Lucy O'Brien is Executive Editor of Features at IGN. Follow her on Twitter.

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