Technology-wise, it's hard for me to imagine such a distant future without the following being present to those nations with enough cash to develop and/or purchase them:
-Drones of all sizes, with different roles. Large drones for long range reconnaissance, and also for carrying armor-busting missiles and EMP warheads, along with VERY small drones, the size of dragon flies and/or even smaller, whose primary role is close-in surveillance, recon, and for calling in super accurate air strikes. These ALREADY exist, so they're sure to be even more compact and deadly in the future, and likely cheaper to produce too. Who knows? Perhaps EMPs are frequently detonated to act as a type of tiny-drone "repellent!" If so, a plot point could be that the "safe for human exposure" EMPs are actually very toxic, spewing out radiation and also slowly scrambling one's biological electrical, central nervous system (a lot like the garbage about how Depleted Uranium rounds are "safe").
-Battlefield robots ala BigDog (recently announced to be deployed with weaponry) and the like. More here if you're interested: Enter text for the link here...
-In light of the above, it would be very neat (and completely plausible) to have ANOTHER party seize control of one's robotic resources, and to their great advantage (Iran was able to take control of at least one U.S. drone). Imagine how terrifying it would be if in the midst of a battle that's going in one's favor, one's robotic assets suddenly turned their weaponry on you (hardcore confusion, shock and stupefaction should abound for at least several minutes - it shouldn't be instantly known what's actually going on).
-Many thousands of U.S. robots are now deployed allover the world, so imagine just how hellish it'll be by 2035.
-Many a mission could be centered on just seizing repair programs from a mechanic's/engineer's tiny and ultra powerful computer diagnostic tool, and of course the weaponry itself. As the campaign progresses, new technologies could be introduced, such as more accurate missiles, or robots who can better discern whether or not a tiny Volvo is really a car, or is a full sized main battle tank using its cloaking technology.
-While I'm sure that human driven/piloted attack vehicles will still be around, I seriously
would consider making the vast majority
of the attack vehicles either be remotely controlled, if not be completely sentient. If remotely controlled, it might be neat to create an artificial limitation which forces human drivers/pilots to be within several miles of a vehicle's deployment (imagine a well armored bus packed with the remote-crew, with antennae and sensors allover it - finding and destroying these targets would be a TOP priority). Perhaps they have to be so close because the technology to scramble
them (not outright control them) is advanced enough that when a vehicle exceeds a certain range the signal can be overcome and readily "fried." Destroying these scramblers would also be a top priority, as their reduction would extend the range of operations.
-Lasers that blind targets at great ranges would also be prevalent (perhaps destroying sensors on robots/drones).
-Specialized ammunition of all kinds should be available - the whole "must wear" attitude of wearing body armor that's so prevalent today could be completely undone in the future due to the advancements of ballistics. This "back and forth" rivalry of technologies could reach a critical tipping point during the campaign.
-NVDs and specialized optics should be exceptionally sensitive with very clear resolutions.
-I also suggest ditching
the pointlessly "trendy" digitized look of today's camouflage. It's a MARKETING gimmick
to make troops "look cool" to entice fresh meat to say "ooh" and "ahh" enough to sign up for one's military program. There is no real reason for why the camouflage "has to" look pixelated and boxy today - and there's no question that what's really important is how the colors and shapes are distributed
. Mimic today's digitized patterning
, but SMOOTH and ROUND the edges of the shapes, and give those shapes "soft
edges" and "soft transitions." In fact, I'd go so far as to place the poorer
countries' troops being STUCK
with the old and outdated pixelated uniforms. What'll be "cool" in the future is to have smooth
shapes. I feel hip just writing about it.
-Active camouflage "stealth" armor will also abound. Unlike the expensive combat fatigues of the future, this technology will not yet have truly smooth edges, and will look much like how BI is designing it for ArmA III - with individual hexagonal (medium price) and octagonal (expensive price) panels working in harmony to trick NVDs and other sensors in displaying things that aren't actually what they appear to be. These panels would also be able to shift hue and saturation, with the more expensive panels having a greater range of visual adjustments, and also being able to complete them more quickly.
-Rocket launchers could launch EMP-warheads that severely degrade/destroy active armor capabilities. They could also damage/destroy collameters and other high-end holo sights, making iron sights a real and "cool" necessity.
-Short term energy supply by batteries would allow heavy equipment to move in much closer without being heard as readily.
-Who knows, top-of-the-line SF units, such as Rangers, could be equipped with short term flight jetpacks.
-I could write a lot more, but Life's duties are calling.
---If you visit my ModDB page, you'll see that over the years I've developed concept designs for a number of modding endeavors, if you're interested, I'd be happy to cook some up and send them your way. Let me know.
Enter text for the link here...
Added 4 hours 21 minutes later:
A few more thoughts came to me while I was humbly doing dishes...
-In regards to advanced ballistics:
---Ammunition accuracy, flight distance, and penetration capabilities could be capable of all kinds of interesting things. It's unimaginable to me that with the advancements that have been made with ammunition in the real world, that such advances wouldn't continue into 2035.