I’m glad Danielle got something out it, but I had a totally different experience with the sequence she’s describing. It went on for so long and was so mechanically uninteresting that I mentally checked out long before it was over. To be clear, you’re carrying the dog through a canyon/passage as your walk speed gets progressively slower; by the end you’re essentially crawling, and the area you’re moving through only changes slightly as you loop through it. I thought the game had made its point after about five minutes, and then it continued for another 10-15 minutes. By the end I was literally checking my phone with one hand while holding down W with the other. For me it killed whatever momentum the game had going up until then.
The lack of clarity around what actually happened to Bullet bothered me, too. One minute he’s fine and then the next he’s laying in a muddy ditch, whimpering. I didn’t feel responsible whatever had happened to him because A) I didn’t even know that that was and B) it was clear the game had just decided it was time to hurt the dog. I’m not saying I needed to see in graphic detail precisely how he was injured (I’d probably hate that even more!), but it seemed like that sequence relied heavily on the player taking ownership of putting Bullet in harm’s way, and that fell flat for me. That’s despite me being an animal person and generally thinking Bullet was one of the best parts of the game.