The exception to this is the first mission, which is set prior to the rest of the campaign.Each mission is divided into a series of objectives, often interspersed with cutscenes which simulate the style of war films.The game is primarily a squad-level first-person shooter based in a contemporary modern warfare setting.
The game was met with positive reception from critics, garnering a mean of 88 from aggregator Metacritic for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, and 87 for the PC version.
It became a commercial success, selling more than twelve million units since its initial release.
The game utilizes a "regenerating health" system, rather than giving players health points as older games in the Battlefield series have done.
To accommodate this in multiplayer, the "Medic" equipment now accelerates health regeneration rather than directly restoring the player's health.
Multiplayer mode features 15 vehicles, including new additions, such as the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk, a quad bike, a four-man patrol boat, a personal watercraft, a ZU-23-2 mounted on a BMD-3 armoured personnel carrier, and a Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout, controlled via remote computer terminals.
The available maps are set in various environments such as South America and Alaska, near the borders of Russia, similar to those seen in the single-player.
There are also sensor stations throughout the campaign which the player can find and destroy - this is also recorded in the campaign stats.
"Supply Drop" crates are scattered throughout the missions, where the player can exchange weapons and replenish ammo.
A dog tag system, as seen in Battlefield 2142 and Battlefield: Bad Company, is also used, awarding players with their opponents' dog tags when they defeat them with a knife attack.