Based on the film, the game is a third-person action-shooter. All the robots have at least five attack types: a light weapon, a heavy weapon, a melee attack, and the ability to throw objects such as cars, lamp posts, trees, etc., and using a long object like a lamp post as a sword. As its title and characters imply, a robot can transform into a vehicle and vice versa, this gives the game some racing elements, as the player must, in some missions, race to certain point within a time limit or before a character of the opposing faction does. Each area is an open world environment, and there are also side-missions, Energon cubes and Autobot/Decepticon emblems scattered through the city, if accomplished successfully/collected the player can unlock trailers, production photos and unlock color schemes for certain characters.
The PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC and the Wii versions all have the same features. By completing certain objectives throughout the game G1 versions Optimus Prime and Megatron become available, as well as G1 color schemes for Jazz, Starscream, and Optimus Prime (labeled Robovision Optimus Prime). These options are turned on or off once obtained through the bonus menu, and only appear while playing as the specified character.
On January 9, 2008, downloadable content entitled Transformers Unlockables was made available for the Xbox 360 on the Xbox Live Marketplace. It unlocks all bonus characters/skins, items, upgrades, and other unlockable content. The PlayStation 2 version of Transformers: The Game has the same gameplay and features like all the other console versions, with graphic quality being reduced.
The Wii is unlike the other consoles, utilizing a different control scheme for movement and attacks that take advantage of its motion sensing controls. With a controller in the left and right hand the player can swipe to imitate attacks or throwing objects and point the Wii Remote at the screen to aim and shoot the gun. The Wii graphics are at a lower resolution than the PC, Xbox 360, though more detailed than the PlayStation 2 version.
The Autobot storyline begins with Bumblebee landing on Earth and taking on the form of a Camaro. He then defeats a group of Decepticon drones. After learning Sam Witwicky is going to buy a used car, Bumblebee goes to Bobby Bolivia’s Used Carlot and is bought by Sam. Later, Sam and his girlfriend, Mikaela Banes, are attacked by a Decepticon, Barricade, but Bumblebee saves them. Bumblebee fights Barricade, while Sam and Mikaela escape. After defeating the Decepticon, Bumblebee finds Sam and Mikaela, who thank him for saving them. Optimus contacts Bumblebee, telling him that Sam has the artifact that contains the location of the AllSpark, and Bumblebee must protect Sam at all costs.
Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Ratchet, and Jazz land on Earth, assume alternate forms (a Peterbilt 379, a GMC Topkick, a Hummer H2 Search and Rescue vehicle, and a Pontiac Solstice) and meet with Bumblebee, Sam and Mikaela. Sam gives them the artifact, which turns out to be his grandfather’s glasses, to Optimus, who explains to Sam and Mikaela the mission of the Autobots in Earth: they are in the search of the All Spark, a powerful artifact which is the source of life of all Transformers, so they can use it to revitalize Cybertron, the homeworld of the Transformers. Ratchet reveals Sam’s grandfather discovered their enemy, the Decepticon leader Megatron, trapped in the Arctic. Megatron burned the information of the All Spark’s location in Sam’s grandfather’s glasses so the Decepticons could find the All Spark. Afterwards, Mikaela sarcastically states that she is struggling with why Bumblebee disguised himself as such a “beater”, and in response, Bumblebee scans a new and improved yellow Camaro as his new alt-mode.
Bumblebee, Sam and Mikaela travel to Mission City with the All Spark. The All Spark’s power surges transform human machines into feral drones which attack Bumblebee. However, Ironhide rescues Bumblebee and defeats the drones. Meanwhile, Jazz encounters and fights Starscream and Blackout. Jazz manages to defeat the Decepticon duo, but Brawl appears behind him and extinguishes his spark in front of Ironhide. The Autobot then defeats Brawl in a “slow death”, avenging his fallen brother. Bumblebee, however, fights Barricade, who is trying to take the All Spark. Bumblebee defeats the Decepticon and meets with Sam and Mikaela but Megatron appears behind him and quickly defeats Bumblebee, forcing Sam and Mikaela to run away. Megatron is about to kill Sam and Mikaela, but Optimus knocks Megatron aside, challenging him to a final battle. Optimus defeats Megatron, however, just as Sam is about to give Optimus the AllSpark, Megatron jumps up and tries to kill Prime in one last attempt using his flail. However, Optimus catches Megatron’s flail and pulls him in closer while crushing the AllSpark in his other hand, and plunging it straight into Megatron’s chest, presumably uniting with his Spark, killing him instantly. The story ends with Optimus and the Autobots choosing to remain on Earth.
The Decepticons storyline begins with a MH-53 Pave Low helicopter falling out of the sky, with severe tail rotor damage, presumably caused by Blackout, one of the Decepticons arriving on Earth, who then takes the form of the downed craft by scanning it. He uses the craft in order to enter and destroy SOCCENT Air Base in Qatar, and ejects his companion Scorponok to chase after the survivors who attempt to call for help using mobile communication vehicles, while Blackout searches for top secret data about the All Spark from the remains of SOCCENT through computer terminals kept inside Software towers, then Blackout accidentally sent a Morse Code signal inviting Stealth Bombers and F-22s over to stop him. After destroying the air force Blackout discovers Data about an Artifact that will lead the Decepticons to the All Spark.
Meanwhile, Frenzy is in the captivity of Sector 7. Barricade, scanning a Police cruiser and becoming it as his alternate form, recovers Frenzy and they go to hunt down the human called Sam Witwicky who has the glasses with the AllSpark’s location burned into them. Barricade finds Sam and his girlfriend Mikaela Banes, and he chases after them, only to be confronted by Bumblebee. Barricade eventually defeats Bumblebee, and Sam gives up the glasses. Barricade contacts Decepticon subcommander Starscream, that they will soon be heading to Mission City with the All Spark, so Starscream decides to round up the other Decepticons, Brawl and Bonecrusher, and send them to Mission City. However, he is delayed at the airbase, but takes the opportunity to make a ‘smoking ruin’ of it.
Megatron goes looking for Optimus Prime by destroying the city, instead finding Sam and Mikeala hiding. Optimus appears and intervenes before Megatron can kill them, to have the last battle. Eventually, Megatron injures Optimus badly, and as he reaches for the All Spark, Megatron stands in the way. He lowers his flail, and can tell Optimus what happens now. He raises the flail, swings it around his head once, then swings it into Prime. Prime’s optical display flickers for seconds, showing all of his past recordings before, flickering out, along with his Spark. With Optimus dead, Sam and the other humans remain unharmed, as Megatron is seen activating the All Spark, then releases a massive shockwave, presumably converting all the electronics in the world into Decepticons, and uses the new army to take over Earth. The story ends sometime later, with Megatron ordering all Decepticons to kill the last of Mankind from his “throne” before they leave Earth.