“So there I was…on a ship that was supposed to be lost, looking for something that should’ve stayed buried. I had my reasons, we all did: going home. Then I found it… And everything changed.” ― Preston Marlowe
Sangre del Toro starts off with Flynn’s Black Hawk flying in while Redford and Aguire talk about if Kirilenko was dead – with Aguire hoping so – as well why they are in the Atacama Desert. Aguire tells them about the Sangre del Toro and how it was a freighter that went down in 1949 off of the coast of Peru and that it must contain a piece to the Scalar Weapon as the Russians were searching for it. Flynn then finds the squad a ride, as the area has many Russian Su-25’s flying about, by pointing out a CAV being operated by two Russian soldiers. Haggard snipes the gunner off with an M95 and Flynn swoops in front of it to drop the squad off while the driver of the CAV dives out and tries to run off. The squad heads toward a computer station where Sweetwater tells Flynn to register a code, Zero One One Alpha, to find the triangulation stations in the area. Flynn tells them there are three locations and he marks them on the navmap. The squad then heads off to each of the stations. Base Station Alpha, near the lighthouse at the right of the map, has a town filled with snipers and a roadblock along the road. The squad gets out and Preston takes out the snipers as they push toward the lighthouse. Once they reach there, Redford uses the computer to activate the triangulation device, commenting with “Hmm, I knew I should have taken that adult education course… Maybe I’d even know Powerpoint too.” He sticks behind to keep the transmission open while Marlowe, Haggard, and Sweetwater all head to the next two stations.
Base Station Bravo is in the old castle in the middle of the map. The squad heads there and uses a side gate to get in, putting them in a dried up canal below the town inside. They take out multiple hostiles as they push through, with two Hinds dropping in Russian Special Forces troops in the courtyard. After taking them out, the squad moves to the station where more troops come in through using grappling hooks and an Mi-28 Havoc supports them. Once the troops are dead and Marlowe takes out the chopper with the nearby M2 Carl Gustav, Haggard uses the computer to open the next triangulation device. He stays behind to keep it open while Sweetwater and Marlowe head to the last station.
Base Station Charlie is located in the cliffs over to the left on the map. Sweetwater and Marlowe push through as the wind blows sand about, obscuring their vision. They eventually reach another castle, in a worse condition than the last, with more Russians holding the area and two Havocs. Another Hind also comes in to drop off more troops. Once everything is taken out, Sweetwater uses the computer to activate the third device as well as try to look up information on Aguire. He sends Marlowe to another station that has the location of the Sangre del Toro. Marlowe heads off on a Quad Bike to the position.
Once he gets there, he gets the location of the ship and heads toward it through a gorge to keep himself out of view of the MiGs flying overhead. He comes across a container ship with many large containers blocking his way. After getting off and shooting some explosive barrels, the containers create a sort of ramp to get across after being moved by the blast. Marlowe then continues on and reaches the ship. As he approaches it, some Russians on Quad Bikes ambush him. After he kills them, he drops into the ship and searches about for the piece the Russians are looking for. Preston finds some old mission documents detailing Operation Aurora and how the men sent on that mission, including Thomas Wyatt, were on a suicide mission to test the Black Weapon’s power. He then finds what the Russians wanted and sees that it has a code on it, Sierra Foxtrot 1079; this code, to Aguire’s surprise was what he was looking for and Aguire asks if there are any more. He only sees one and Aguire then tells Preston to get out of the ship fast and bring him the compound that Preston found as soon as possible.
- This is the longest and most open of any of the missions in Bad Company 2, being set in an open desert of sorts. To get between the triangulation points, the CAV is a necessity, and the mounted grenade launcher offers an excellent source of supplementary firepower.
- This is what one of the triangulation stations look like: after arriving, one of the squad will stay behind to man the station.
- The combat in this mission varies between long range, medium range and short range: as we are restricted to only two weapons, I typically recommend a weapon with iron sights or a red dot sight, paired with a scoped weapon. Of course, players can get through the entire mission with nothing more than the XM8 rifle for the most part.
- The mounted TOW launcher makes it extraordinarily easy to take down the enemy Hinds that show up. After firing a round, keeping the reticle on the target will guide the missile to it. A bit of fun trivia: reticle is derived off reticulum, the Latin term for net.
- Here, I am wielding the AEK-971 was originally intended to be a replacement for the AK-47, designed for the Russian Army’s “Abakan” test trial in the 1980s. Despite failing the Army’s trial, it went on to be produced for Russian police forces and for export. It fires the 5.45x39mm round, fed from a standard 30-round magazine, and is compatible with all magazines used by the AK-74 model.
- The AEK-971 is the first weapon issued to players using the assault kit in multiplayer: lacking a scope, the recoil is very low for its rate of fire, but is enough to throw off the player’s aim beyond medium range. Using the weapon in short, controlled bursts gives the weapon a high accuracy even at longer ranges.
- This particular version of the XM8 rifle with the iron sights is best suited for close quarters combat, whereas the scoped version excels at mid-range combat. In the multiplayer, players will have to get comfortable with making longer range shots using only the iron sights or red dot sights.
- The M2 recoiless rifle makes another return, fulfilling its role as an anti-air weapon. Contrasting shooters like Halo, where rocket launchers are very nearly the ultimate power weapon for engaging both foot units and vehicles, the M2 here carries a charge suited for anti-vehicular combat and is unsuited for taking out groups of infantry.
- There’s something fun about the M95 rifle, whether it be the incredibly loud firing sound giving the weapon a sense of power, or the chambering animation that occurs after every shot. While the Type 88 is more practical in the campaign, it’s just fun to use this rifle for dropping distant targets. In Battlefield 3, the M82 rifle is used instead: compared to the M95, the M82 is semi-automatic rather than bolt-action like the M95, and has a larger magazine. Moreover, the M82 is said to have a lower recoil compared to the M95.
- The last phase of the mission involves driving a quad bike around to an abandoned ship. The only shot I needed to fire here was to light the gas barrels on the land-locked freighter ship: the enemies encountered here can be splattered with relative ease or even ignored.
The longest of all the missions in Bad Company 2, Sangre del Toro is also the only mission that allows the player to complete the objectives in any order their wish. The wide, open spaces in the mission mean that the CAV becomes a necessity. As the mission progresses, the members of the squad will stay behind at the different sites to man the triangulation stations: once all of the stations are found, the mission becomes more linear, with Marlowe heading off to the abandoned freighter. This is the only desert mission in the game, although as with the previous missions set in the Andes, it may be a little difficult to see where one is going with all the dust blowing around. The environment at each of the three triangulation points, thankfully marked out on the mini-map, are unique. The castle-like ones feature tight hallways and courtyards that make rifle grenades and shotgun rounds useful, while the abandoned village is best cleared with the trusty Type-88 rifle. Russian Mi-24 Hind and Mi-28 Havocs will plague the squad at one of the castles, but there is a ready supply of M2 recoil-less rifles and even a TOW launcher at one of the castles. These choppers will follow Marlowe around until they are destroyed, making it imperative to take them out as soon as possible. There are two collectible weapons on this mission, the M60 and F2000. I recall playing this mission following Otafest and found myself stuck at the freighter, before realising that the use of explosives would be the only way to clear a path. The remainder of the mission is relatively straightforward, concluding once Marlowe jumps into the abandoned Sangre del Toro and secures the documents. The interior of the ship is deserted, making it unnecessary to obtain a proper close-quartered weapon.