A video game based on the Transformers franchise, released on June 22, 2010. Set before the Transformers come to Earth, the story is set entirely on their home planet of Cybertron. The game is meant to be the basis for an entirely new continuity and to set the stage for storylines of the franchise for years to come. The story is a set-up for the Transformers Prime TV series.The player has the opportunity to play as both the Autobots and the Decepticons. Unlike previous Transformers games to do this, however, the plot for both factions will be entirely linear in nature, as opposed to Multiple Ending scenarios, with the Decepticon campaign taking place shortly before the Autobots. The game not only gives an idea of the events that led to both the Autobots' and Decepticons' exodus from Cybertron to Earth, it also shows up close how unflinchingly brutal the fighting was.So far, the game has been subject to huge amounts of fan joy. Despite being a Continuity Reboot it uses the classic backstory of Generation One as the build-up point, every character possesses their well known personality and each story point reinforces the traditional Transformer saga themes. Everything else comes with modern sensibilities in both story plotting and visual designs. The characters have a look that carries the bulk of G1 (with a bit of the War Within comics thrown in), the shifting pieces and complexity used by the live-action movies, and the sharp angles and proportions of Transformers Animated.The excellent voice acting by both old veterans and those new to the franchise and high shout-out quotient certainly adds to it. Older fans love the game for these reasons, and newer fans love the game for its sheer coolness factor. Oh, and the game's actually pretty damn good. The game's success prompted Activision to let High Moon make the Dark of the Moon tie-in game, and a War For Cybertron sequel, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, was released on August 21, 2012.
This game provides examples of:
Action Girl: Arcee. Being the ONLY female Autobot and up against enemy robots that turn into tanks and jet planes, she holds her own as a small car and does so in style.
Adaptational Badass: Starscream again receives this treatment. Not only is he a dangerous combatant in the Decepticon forces, but he also takes on Optimus, Bumblebee and Ratchet single-handed and only retreats when he receives heavy damage — something his G1 counterpart wouldn't have waited around for before running. Oh, and before he fights them, he takes on the Aerialbots and wins (offscreen, unfortunately). It's also mentioned he was the former commander of Cybertron's aerial forces, before being assigned to guard the Energon Station.
Which is "borrowed" from a d20 game called Mechamorphs, the developer of which had originally tried to license the Transformers name from Hasbro in 2005.
Anti-Hero: Zeta Prime - merciless with his prisoners and cares little for his own soldiers. Sound familiar?
Anti-Villain: He doesn't get much characterization in-game, but the site notes that Thundercracker isn't sure how strongly he believes in the Decepticon cause. Further, he's the most reasonable of the jets, and even seems to retain some scientific curiosity, where the others are just looking for more to kill or irritated at the prospect of being further hindered in their journey.
Apocalypse How: A Class 3a, by the end of the game. Megatron infects the core of Cybertron with Dark Energon, and the planet's surface becomes unable to sustain Cybertronian life, causing a mass Exodus from the planet.
Arm Cannon: How the Transformers hold their weapons—they "transform" their arms into sockets that fit the particular gun they want.
They use turrets by transforming their entire body into part of the gun. See BFG.
Omega Supreme. Both slaggin' arms.
Shockwave's left arm (which, in a bit of a subversion, isn't actually used as an Arm Cannon — it's his vehicle mode weapon, and his robot mode Arm Cannon is the same as everyone else's).
Attack Its Weak Point: Several examples, but the final Decepticon fight against Omega Supreme stands out the most. First you have to attack his turrets (which are explicitly stated to be outside his shields), damaging him enough to (somehow) make his chest a weak point for you to attack.
Awesome, but Impractical: Trypticon is this for the Decepticons; it has incredibly destructive capabilities as a super weapon, but the excessive heat build up proves to be its undoing. Noted by Ironhide and exploited by your three Autobots in the final battle However, it is a thorough pain to exploit, and the Autobots have the fight of their lives to take him down.
It's also Justified by the fact that Trypticon was a Game Breaker before the previous level - in which your Aerialbot team made a noted effort to completely wreck his cooling systems.
Badass: If you're a named character, you're almost certifiably one of these. Megatron's the biggest example, though; you can see why Autobot grunts oil their pants when he shows up.
In the intro cinematic alone, Megatron crushes a poor Autobot mook's head... with one hand!
Badass Grandpa: Ironhide seems to be the physically strongest Autobot in the game (not counting Omega Supreme). Demonstrated the best in his introductory cutscene in which he takes down two Decepticon Brutes with his bare hands. Afterwards, he lifts a gigantic collapsed statue to clear your way.
Bad Boss: Sort of. Megatron certainly shows far less concern for his troops than, say, Optimus does, and he's not above blasting nameless minions who disobey or even question his orders, but he doesn't sacrifice them unnecessarily. And say what you want about him, but Megatron leads from the front, and he'll make sure you don't forget it. He actually spends almost as much time on the frontlines as the local version of Optimus due to both being playable characters.
And depending on how well you follow orders and/or your usefulness, he'll be pretty flexible. Breakdown gets away with comments that lesser Decepticons would get shot over (as one does early on). Half of Megatron's barked orders to him are irritated but not quite angry calls to shut it.
Also, much like most continuities before this, Megatron does treat Soundwave with a fair bit of respect. Compared to virtually everyone else he so much as speaks to, that is. Which means that he only takes his typical threatening tone once with him.
Starscream has shades of this with his subordinates.
BFG: The game looks like it's set to take things even further this time, as Trypticon (who is gigantic even compared to regular Transformers) is seen with several in the trailer. As it turns out, Trypticon himself is one. His altmode is a Kill Sat. A big Kill Sat.
You can get these yourself from turrets or some big enemies. Downsides are your mobility is limited while packing and you can't get the ammo refilled—whereas with turrets the ammo is infinite. And you can't take them with you when you transform.
Optimus's Ion Blaster is essentially a faster firing, harder hitting, version of the standard Neutron Assault Rifle. And, just to make it less fair for the Cons, it's more accurate and has more ammo to boot.
And naturally, Megatron's fusion cannon can one-shot any enemy not at miniboss or higher level.
Big Bad: Megatron as usual. Early on, passing a bunch of damaged Decepticon soldiers, he shouts, "Unacceptable! They should be victorious, or dead!"
Big Damn Heroes: This trailer has Optimus Prime pull off a particularly awesome one of these as he transforms in midair, knocking down one missile Starscream had fired at Bumblebee and taking the blast of the second.
Bittersweet Ending: The Autobots win the battle, but the war continues. Cybertron itself has been rendered uninhabitable for the next several million years.
Black and Gray Morality: Okay, not quite, but it's still less black and white than most of the other adaptations. For one thing, the Autobots are shown to have their own flaws, and the war might be their fault as much as the Decepticons. Plus, Zeta Prime is almost as megalomaniacal as Megatron. Almost.
Well, Zeta Primedoes show a little less aptitude for backing up his bluster than Megatron does, that's for damn sure.
Zeta's also pretty merciless with any prisoners he takes.
Blood Knight: Many. Megatron is the most flagrant example, but Brawl and Sideswipe certainly qualify. Heck, even Optimus seems to enjoy smashing up the bad guys a little too much:
Bumblebee: It's that bad?
Optimus: Bumblebee, we're locked inside an enemy prison, surrounded by countless Decepticons bent on our destruction.
Bumblebee: So it's bad.
Optimus: It's purely a matter of perspective.
Boisterous Bruiser: Damn near ALL of them, with a few exceptions, Optimus being the most obvious one (he's much too humble for it). Megatron will CERTAINLY let you know you're in for a world of hurt.
Bond One-Liner: The characters frequently exalt their own abilities or congratulate each other after kills, though only a few are puns. For example, if Optimus headshots someone, he might rumble:
Optimus: One shot is all it takes.
Or he gives us a classic "Take THAT, Decepticon punk."
If he doesn't say anything, Bumblebee might say:
Bumblebee: Are you kidding me with that shot?! Nice!
Meanwhile, for a proper pun, Ratchet might snark:
Ratchet: I call that "projectile therapy"!
Bond Villain Stupidity: The reason why Megatron doesn't just kill Starscream, despite the fact he knows full well what a traitor he is, is that apparently Megatron finds Starscream to be cunning and useful—even though the idiot tries to take over the Decepticons whenever Megatron disappears for more than thirty seconds. That and Starscream is apparently the planet's best expert on how to process Dark Energon, and was originally assigned to protect it.
Boom, Headshot: Instant kill on any trooper weaker than a Brute. Can be performed with any weapon with or without Fine Aim, meaning it's possible to get a headshot with a shotgun, or even a grenade launcher.
The boss battle even has this line related to the laser beam that is just such a big G1 throwback it makes one giddy with nostalgia.
Trypticon: Feel the burn of my laser!
Bullet Catch: the beginning cutscene has Optimus catching a missile with his hand after knocking another away. The one he catches explodes, but he survives anyways, despite the rough landing.
The Call Knows Where You Live: Optimus had apparently turned down the title of Prime given by the Autobot high council in the past, but with Zeta Prime's death and every Autobot encouraging him he takes up the role.
Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Optimus is the most cool-headed of the Autobots (he needs to be, since so much is riding on his leadership), while his subordinates are much more rough and rowdy, especially Ironhide.
Catch Phrase: Optimus Prime calls for the Autobots to "roll out!" in the newest trailer, just like he always does.
Megatron will not be denied.
Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Starscream, of course! He actually starts out working for the High Council and through them, technically, the Autobots once the war starts, just so both sides get some knives in the back. And he's not working for Megatron very long before you hear him shriek, "Megatron has fallen!" and try to take command for the first time.
Cold Sniper: Starscream, if one takes into account that his signature weapon, the Null Ray, is a high powered sniper rifle. His abilities are also very good at capitalizing on this, hovering and jet form to get him into a better position, and shockwave to knock back anyone that gets close so he can make a getaway. Despite this, he uses a Shotgun in the boss fight against him instead.
Combat Medic: Ratchet, to the point where he actually seems to be the right-hand man of Optimus here.
Barricade also questions Megatron a few times, but since he's only around for one mission, he doesn't get as much opportunity to snark.
Composite Character: Barricade has a body design that seems to be more of a G1-ized version of his Movie form, rather than being based on the G1 Micromaster—though as a Scout, he is the smallest member of the party. The developers have also admitted that Barricade owes more to his movie "mecha bad cop" persona than the original G1 character.
Brawl seems to combine elements of both his G1 incarnation, as well as that of the Combaticon commander, Onslaught, fusing G1 Brawl's violent nature with Onslaught's tactical knowledge (and during the siege on Iacon actually does act as a ground commander). He also shares Onslaught's double-barreled back-mounted turret; the original Brawl only had one barrel (though movieverse Brawl had two). Amusingly, Onslaught himself was added as part of the first DLC and they're both slated to appear for the sequel.
The Corruption: Dark Energon's properties are ill-defined at best, but it seems mostly able to subvert programming and cause machines to go haywire. Stuff it affects usually starts sprouting black crystalline spikes that tear it apart, when it's not blown up outright. Megatron is the first Cybertronian ever to weaponize it without being destroyed by it; most of the other Transformers are so terrified of it that they only have a small amount of the stuff in storage and are prepared to destroy it before Megatron hijacks the production facility. The game centers around the discovery and weaponization of Dark Energon, while Megatron's personal plot revolves around using it to corrupt Cybertron itself and bring the planet under his control. While Megatron succeeds, Cybertron does have a way to purge itself. However, the purging will require Cybertron to shut down and become uninhabitable for millions of years.
Cutscene Power to the Max: So. Very. Much. Every named Transformer becomes exponentially more powerful whenever you're not controlling him.
Dark Action Girl: Slipstream. Like Arcee she's the only female of her faction, but her dialogue during multiplayer matches do seem to indicate that she loves fighting, and being (essentially) a Seeker, she's more than capable of physically backing that up.
Darker and Edgier: This is a far more intense Transformers adaptation than is the usual fare, even more thanBayformers. For one thing, it's not just the Decepticons that have nameless legions of cannon fodder.
The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: In the Exodustie-in novel, Megatron's goal for doing what he does is to free Cybertron from an oppressive caste system that stifles personal ambition and cultural development. By the time of War for Cybertron, however, he's devolved into the megalomaniacal tyrant we all know and love, promising to relieve the population of Cybertron of "the burdens of freedom and choice."
Except the problem with that viewpoint, is that Exodus contradicts the story of the game so many times, that they are now pretty much entirely incompatible with each other.
Although the view that Megatron was not always an evil bot is still popular—indeed, it seems to be canon in most modern continuities.
Megatron's quip about relieving them of the burdens of freedom and choice could also be interpreted as satire, since the Decepticons are forcing Iacon's people to join, similar as to how Zeta prime's caste system forced Megatron and many others to be lower-class workers. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.
Deadpan Snarker: Most of the Autobots and Decepticons get a couple sarcastic lines off throughout the game, even the ones that were never that humorous. Like Megatron:
Megatron: (with a weary, paternalistic air) ...and try not to get crushed by the trains.
Megatron gets another good one in at Breakdown's expense:
Breakdown: We made it...I can't believe it! We made it!
Megatron: Yes, Breakdown. Your constant whining saw us through.
Determinator: This is Megatron's defining characteristic. The entire Decepticon campaign has various characters telling Megatron that he cannot do what he's trying to do (control Dark Energon, storm the gates of the Autobot capital, defeat Omega Supreme). Megatron's response is to give them all the finger and do it anyway.
Megatron: I decide what is possible, and what isn't!
Omega Supreme, not as noticeable given his size and power edge, still refuses to let Megatron win despite repeatedly getting infected by Dark Energon, impressive considering that almost anything that gets hit with it in the game tends to break apart.
Difficult but Awesome: In multiplayer, the rough order of difficulty in playing the classes is as follows: Soldier (sturdy, easy to get into, similar to normal shooter characters), Leader (not as tough as the Soldier, but with an ability that enables everyone on the team to tank), Scout (fast and light, good at sniping and sneak attacks, but can be one-shotted by a Soldier in tank mode), and Scientist (extremely fragile but death on wings when played right, and incidentally capable of keeping other people going).
Disc One Final Boss: Omega Supreme is the last boss fight for the Deceptican campaign, but marks the beginning of the Autobot campaign.
Disney Villain Death: Both subverted and played straight with Trypticon. Subverted in that he survives a fall from orbit; played straight in that Optimus, Bumblebee, and Ironhide manage to defeat him by blowing out his power cores and causing him to fall down a chasm. And even then, we can't be certain that actually killed him...
They didn't. He becomes the Nemesis according to Exodus. But his mind is out and out gone, so he's running on a mixture of autonomous systems and the Decepticons working various stations and posts inside his body.
The Fall Of Cybertron version of the events also showed he survived, but the Autobots dismantled him and used him for power.
Escort Mission: Delightfully averted for the most part. Though you always travel in a squad of three, your squadmates are invincible. Even if they're auto-killed by an environmental effect (such as falling into a bottomless pit or standing in front of Trypticon's laser breath), they respawn a moment later. In short, you are never punished for any Artificial Stupidity.
This also has a secondary effect: you'll NEVER use a medic during the campaign. Invincible medic = epic win for you.
Of course this won't protect you from people in co-op mode with more guts then sense who will constantly charge into death traps often forcing you to try and save them or enjoy reloading the last checkpoint.
Alas, during one mission in the campaign, you have to protect Ratchet from multiple waves of 'Cons, including a Destroyer, while he repairs Omega Supreme.
End of an Age: Cybertronian society collapses completely as Megatron assassinates Sentinel Prime and corrupts the planet, forcing most of the population to flee to outer space.
Evil Laugh: Starscream and Megatron are the most common users of this. Though the latter only does it when he's either killed something big in a fight or achieved some important goal.
Evil Is Easy: While the campaigns can be played in either order, since the Decepticon campaign occurs first the player is expected to play to start with, and as such the Autobot campaign is intentionally made harder.
Face-Heel Turn: Starscream, the usual backstabber, is normally a Decepticon in various Transformers Universes. But at the start of the game, he is aligned to the Autobots. After Megatron manages to acquire the Dark Energon, Starscream, along with his allies Thundercracker and Skywarp, switch sides.
Flunky Boss: Includes examples from all over the scale, ranging from Trypticon (who summons some minor, annoying minions that are far less dangerous than the boss itself) to Zeta Prime (who attacks with minions and environmental effects in equal measure) to Soundwave (who only attacks with his minions).
Foregone Conclusion Considering this is a prequel to your usual Transformers Story, this is obvious. Optimus suceeds Zeta as the Last of the Primes, and no matter what the Autobots do, Cybertron is rendered uninhabitable, and the game ends with a race against time to built the Ark and escape their dying world.
Friendly Fireproof: Your teammates are invincible, so you can't actually harm them, but they'll still comment if one of your stray shots hits them, or if they're in the way when you bust out your melee weapon.
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: It's never explained where the hell Trypticon came from. There was no indication in the Decepticon campaign, for example, that the transfer station was alive. (It should be noted that while Megatron is never put off by the sheer size and power of Omega Supreme, that might just be Megatron being Megatron...or it might hint of things to come...) It probably has something to do with how new Cybertronians are made, but since we don't know how that is it comes off as a bit odd.
It's hinted at in the first Decepticon chapter when Megatron states he has plans to upgrade the station after Barricade's observation about how old everything is.
The DS version attributes Trypticon's existence to the station having been twisted into a living being by the dark energon.
Gladiator Games: Megatron got his start (and name) in the equivalent of Cybertronian Fight Club. His desire to see a free Cybertron without a caste system where everyone is free to determine their own path sparks his rise to power as more and more Cybertronians (including the future Optimus Prime) come to his cause, leading eventually to a...
Gladiator Revolt: Unfortunately, as Megatron's organization grows in power, some start to do less than moral things such as bombing an amusement park.
Glory Seeker: Megatron, oh so hard. He even shouts "FOR GLORY!" after certain kills in Campaign mode.
Hammerspace: Trypticon's killsat form is positively massive, large enough to fill the field of view from quite some distance away. Once he ends up in his giant monster form though he seems to lose a lot of mass and you can run from one end to the other pretty quickly. This particular issue is a universal problem throughout the franchise, so it's understandable it'd show up here.
Honor Before Reason: When the Autobots receive a message from Zeta Prime that he's still alive and imprisoned in the Decepticon capital of Kaon, Ratchet tells Optimus that it must be a trap, to which Optimus replies that even if that's the case, it's a risk he's willing to take. What else can you expect from him?
Humongous Mecha: Omega Supreme and Trypticon. The tank mini-bosses also, to a lesser extent. Technically the whole cast is this, but since this game is on Cybertron, you don't notice this.
Hyperspace Arsenal: Probably a literal one, given the franchise's common use of Pocket Dimensions. Every character carries a melee weapon and up to two ranged weapons, and only the currently-equipped weapon ever appears on their person. Acquiring a new weapon involves some sort of scanning procedure, and weapons transform out of the way and disappear when they're not being used. Furthermore, all of these weapons disappear when the character enters vehicle mode. However, there seems to be a limit to the size of the Hyperspace Arsenal, as the characters can't carry BFGs taken from turrets around with them.
I Control My Minions Through...: Although Megatron of course pulls the You Have Failed Me schtick to rule through fear, one also understands why the Decepticons still follow him, because in the Decepticon campaign, he is a complete and utter badass who is always at the front of his army. He rams a ship into a space station, which he then runs through while it's falling apart, subdues a small army with only two minions, and then gets his hands on the Psycho Serum which he is able to wield like a toy. Instruments of Destruction indeed.
And even in his backstory, before his rise to power, he was like this (charismatic and leading by example). See the Gladiator tropes above.
Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Okay, Megatron. You want to destroy the caste system and let Decepticons have more of a say in government. That's very cool. But you're causing a massive civil war, killing your own soldiers, corrupting everything you see with Dark Energon, carting prisoners off to a terrible prison to be tortured and executed, and demanding that Autobots leave the planet entirely. When the Autobots do start leaving Cybertron (though not for the reasons Megatron had in mind) Megatron orders Trypticon to destroy unarmed, defenseless escape shuttles filled with Autobots for no damn reason.
Megatron: "Take your Autobots and leave Cybertron forever or stay and face complete annihilation." He probably wanted them to leave immediately; since Optimus chose to fight, Megatron wouldn't let them change their stance after giving his ultimatum. Either that or he was lying to get them into space and into range of Trypticon. It certainly wouldn't be out of character.
Kaizo Trap: Trypticon will try to drag you down into the abyss with him. You get a trophy (PS3) or an achievement (360) for falling for it.
Kick the Dog: Capturing and then crushing a lone soldier right before his leader's eyes, just to demonstrate your power over the facility? Really, Zeta Prime?
Kill Sat: The Decepticons use one whilst in control of the orbital space station (formerly belonging to the Autobots). Turns out, it's actually the alternate form of Trypticon.
Kill Steal: Your teammates will comment if you kill someone they were fighting with, and the comments vary depending on who you're playing as. If you steal, say, Bumblebee's kill, he'll be annoyed. If you knock off someone Optimus was fighting, he'll just say thanks for the assist. Few of the Decepticons, though, will complain if Megatron steals a kill.
Knight Templar: Megatron seems to believe the Decepticons will bring order to Cybertron and usher in a new golden era for their civilization. Seeing the origins of the Decepticons (and the state of things before the war), Megatron doesn't necessarily come off as (originally) such a bad guy—elimination of the caste system, the freedom to allow everyone to choice their own course in life, betterment of the underclasses (of which he is one). 'course, things got worse.
Averted when considering that the Mini-Boss type enemies that make both of them look puny.
Large Ham: Megatron, Starscream, Optimus, and Trypticon, figuratively and literally.
Legacy Character: Sort of. The post of Prime is when a society formalizes this trope. Zeta Prime, Optimus's predecessor, is a character in the story. He is captured by the Decepticons and tortured. Soundwave kills him by draining the last of his life energy. Afterwards, Optimus brings his body home and is chosen by the Autobot High Council to succeed him as Prime.
He's hanging around with Megatron. Of course he's nervous.
Mechanical Lifeforms: Aside from the Transformers themselves, the depths of Cybertron have weird floating robot squids and other such things.
The Medic: Ratchet, as usual, but in a surprising twist, Thundercracker and Soundwave are the medics for the Decepticon side. (Jetfire is also a medic type, but that's not so much outside his purview as it is the game's class system expanding his purview.) The Scientist class in multiplayer also serves as the default medical unit.
The Men First: Optimus and Ratchet will constantly try to avoid any casualties on their side.
Mini-Boss: Destroyers. Also the Decepticon War Machines in the first mission of the Autobot campaign.
Mobile Maze: Level progression is actually pretty linear, but you can see so many bits and pieces of the background shifting and transforming. It's clear that the eponymous Transformers don't just restrict their transformation technology to themselves.
Never Say "Die": Averted, unlike most other Transformers continuities. Decepticons talk about killing people a lot.
No-Gear Level: One Autobot mission has Optimus and the others breaking out of prison, so they start without their projectile weapons. The Decepticons neglected, however, to take melee weapons like Optimus's axe, which is the main reason they're able to escape. (The melee weapons seem to be integrated into all Cybertronians' systems, but they actually emptied their ammunition reservoirs for their vehicle-mode weapons, too, and since when has having to mutilate someone to render them harmless ever stopped Decepticons?)
No One Could Survive That: Ratchet's assessment of Zeta Prime's battle with Megatron, when a transmission from the Autobot leader seems to imply the opposite. Ratchet believes it to be a trap instead (course, he was actually half right: Zeta wasn't dead, but the message was orchestrated by the Decepticons as a trap).
Guesses are made if Trypticon survived his fall from orbit, but the Autobots don't jump to any conclusions.
Not Quite Dead: After his defeat by Megatron, the Autobots believe Zeta Prime to have been killed. He was actually captured and taken to Kaon to be tortured. However, he is finished by Soundwave during the rescue attempt by Optimus and his team.
Oh, Crap: Bumblebee has a pretty good reaction of this when Trypticon touches down on the battlefield in the second trailer.
Old Soldier: Ironhide's age and experience are commented upon during the game, especially on the mission he shared with Optimus and Warpath.
Palette Swap: As expected, there are a few characters who essentially have the same appearance, but different colours (i.e. Starscream and the Seekers as usual). The game even gives you the option to do this yourself as part of multiplayer customization.
Paper-Thin Disguise: One of the powers of the Scientist class, basically a Palette Swap. It's even more paper thin to other scientists, who can see the health gauges of all actual allies, but not disguised enemy Scientists, and even more so when someone tries this as Shockwave who has a very unique character model which involves a big purple glowing chest which when using this ability becomes a big red glowing chest. The lack of these obvious distinctions, however, makes it possible to fool an enemy who isn't a fellow Scientist long enough to club them with a melee attack, usually.
The Paragon: Both Optimus and Megatron work to inspire their subordinates to be the best of their respective factions, but Optimus is obviously much more benign about it than Megatron is.
Photoprotoneutron Torpedo: Neutron assault rifles, Proton burst rifles, EMP shotguns, Ion blaster, Magma frag launcher, Fusion Cannon, Plasma Cannon, EMP Shotgun, Energon Battle Pistol. It'd be easier to list the guns that dont follow this.
Plot Armor: With the exception of Zeta Prime and possibly Trypticon, every named character survives the game, likely so they can keep on going as they bring the war to Earth later in the franchise.
Real Is Brown: Most everything is a purple-ish shade of gunmetal, even brightly colored characters like Bumblebee don't stand out much against this backdrop. This was one of the main things the developers sought to change for Transformers: Fall of Cybertron.
Recycled IN SPACE!: The gameplay has so far been described as being akin to Gears of War, but with giant shape-shifting alien robots on their home planet.
There are also a few elements that make it feel similar to Team Fortress 2 in multiplayer mode, particularly the four classes, which are similar to the eight TF2 classes smushed together.
Likewise, the system of abilities, perks, and traits is similar to the style set out by Modern Warfare (from Activision, who also did this game).
Redshirt Army: Pretty much anyone that doesn't have a name. According to canon literature, most of them don't even have names to begin with.
Refusal of the Call: Optimus has been a Prime from the very start of the game (and probably since he's been referred to as Optimus and not just Orion Pax) but continually refused the designation until after Zeta Prime's death.
Scenery Porn: Cybertron looks damned good in many of the overhead shots. But then again...
Scenery Gorn: You'll be spending a lot of time on the ground, amidst the war torn landscapes.
The design team was actually very careful about these tropes. The Autobot cities, whilst heavily damaged from civil war, are perfect symbols of the once proud civilization Cybertron must have been before the war, whereas Kaon, the Decepticon city, is purposefully rusty and grimy, with the idea that the Decepticons aren't out to build a functioning society. Or at the very least, a society based more around function, power, and making others do the grunt work. Whereas the Autobots are a cooperative utopia, the Decepticons are a competitive utopia.
Sequel Hook: After ordering the evacuation of Cybertron, Optimus also commisions the building of the Ark, a ship massive enough to much of Cybertron with them as they search for a new home.
Shout-Out: To the original Transformers movie in "To The Core".
Ironhide: Um... bah weep granah weep ninni bong.
The Smurfette Principle: Arcee and Slipstream are the only "female" Autobot and Decepticon respectively, and they're bonus characters playable only in multiplayer to boot. Slipstream's model doesn't even appear in the campaign, and Arcee is only briefly seen in the Kaon prison.
Smug Snake: Zeta Prime is a rare example on the good guys' side. He has Megatron's arrogance and pride, but not the skill to back it up.
Sniper Pistol: All weapons except for the Scatter Blaster and EMP Shotgun can be used for semi-effective sniping with Precision Aim mode on. The Energon Battle Pistol takes this literally, with a 5x scope in Precision Aim mode — the only weapon that zooms in farther is the Null Ray, a dedicated sniper rifle with a 10x scope.
Sociopathic Soldier: Obviously a Decepticon trait, with Brawl being the biggest example, but Warpath also shows very little reluctance about blowing a keghole into someone.
Warpath: Bang-bang, you're KABLAM!
Soul Jar: The Autobot Matrix of Leadership is a portion of the soul of Primus, given to Optimus by Primus himself. This is the most comprehensive origin story ever given to the mythology concept.
The Starscream: Starscream, naturally. Starts off by betraying the Autobots, then moves on to Megatron.
Storming the Castle: The Decepticons' attack on Starscream's satellite and their assault on the Iacon Vault.
Throat Light: The insides of some of the Cybertronians' mouths glow the two factions' respective eye colors (blue eyes for Autobots, Red Eyes for Decepticons).
Toyless Toyline Character: Only a select few of the War For Cybertron character were created for the Generations toy-line: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron, Soundwave and Cliffjumper. A Legends Class Starscream was a promotional giveaway in the United Kingdom to those who purchased the game.
Trailers Always Lie: The intro depicts Optimus and Megatron leading armies against each other, which includes Trypticon and Omega Supreme which both lay waste to a big chunk the opposing armies before Optimus and Megatron charge each other. No such scene like this occurs in game, in fact Optimus and Megatron never meet in person, in a manner of speaking.
Trailers Always Spoil: A minor example only: Trypticon falling to the surface of Cybertron like a meteor.
Omega Supreme being shown, though without it his appearance comes out of nowhere.
Translation Convention: Spoken Cybertronian is rendered in English, while written Cybertronian is kept largely untranslated. The exception is the preview text that opens each mission, which translates from Cybertronian to English as the narrator reads it.
The Unfought: The Autobots and Decepticons only get to fight the opposite faction's leader in multiplayer due to their stories being sequential rather than parallel. The only duel between the leaders that is in any way related to the storyline occurs in the intro.
Up to Eleven: Parodied near the end of the Autobot campaign.
Computer: Plasma levels at 110%. Air Raid: 110? It goes that high?! Jetfire: No, that's the point! It's about to blow!
Villainous Breakdown: After Megatron loses the Core of Cybertron, his most prized asset in the war, he starts using his Kill Sat to destroy the evacuation ships. What makes this a breakdown? Earlier in the game, he actually wanted the Autobots to leave the planet. And given that Cybertron was currently dying, those ships held some of the last living members of his race.
Megatron: I told you, to stay and defy me was to die! And NOBODY defies Megatron! * The vid-screen shows the station's weapon destroying all the escaping ships* Ratchet: He's... insane.
Villainous Valor: Say what you will about Megatron, he's got the guts to dive right into battle and he leads from the front.
Brawl shows his during a cutscene while Megatron and crew are trying to get to him. Dog-piled by a crowd of Autobots he throws them off, smacks one out of the way and machine-guns another point blank.
We Have Reserves: Both the Decepticons and the Autobots (under Zeta Prime's command anyway) show this behaviour. Come to think of it, it's probably one reason why the Autobots are happy that Optimus is finally in charge, as he doesn't share this attitude.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: The Aerialbots decide to take out Trypticon's conversion cog and revert him back to his natural Cybertronian form, seeing no other way to stop him from firing and destroying Iacon.
Jetfire: We don't even know what his original form is!
Silverbolt: Maybe not, but anything is better than this.
Wingman: The Aerialbots to one another. While the Seekers have the "chatter in the middle of battle" part down, they don't really care enough for each other for the "watch my six" part. Thundercracker might, if the others weren't jackholes.