Modern multiplayer warfare flares in Digital Illusion's Battlefield 2. As in the developer's original Battlefield 1942 (as well as its various add-ons and Vietnam-themed update), the focus of Battlefield 2 is on fast-paced, vehicle-enabled, online combat for a large group of players -- the sequel supports as many as 64 on a single map. Unlike earlier versions, however, Battlefield 2 is set in the near future instead of a glorified past. Players fight for the United States, China, or the Middle East coalition, using technologically advanced weapons, equipment, and vehicles.
The selection of over 30 usable land, sea, and airborne vehicles includes helicopters, hovercraft, jeeps, and jets. A variety of soldier types are available for play, including assault infantry, snipers, engineers, medics, spec ops agents, and others. Gamers can also choose to take the role of a strategic commander, directing units across the battlefields from an overseer's position, but not taking part directly in the action. As characters gain experience in online battle, they increase in rank, are awarded medals, and gain access to additional high-end equipment. The game's engine is designed to automatically scale the size of the maps to the number of players in the session.