The game is linear and level-based with full campaigns for both factions. Each mission has one default playable character.
Unlike the third-person shooter gameplay system established in the 360, PS3 and PC version, this game is a "rail shooter". Players (generally) do not control the movement of the character; instead the character is moved by AI as the player aims and shoots at targets using the Wii remote (making the game much like arcade shooter Time Crisis). Successful hits fill up the "Power-Up Meter" on the bottom-right. As the Power-Up Meter goes up in level, it increases the strength and ammo capacity for your weapons, plus adds bonus multipliers to your score. Players can duck for cover to avoid fire and quickly restore their lost health, but this comes at a price: the longer you stay in cover, the more your Power-Up Meter drains. Your health automatically regenerates on its own, but at a slower rate. Thankfully, this regeneration continues even through the cinematic sequences.
Each robot has four weapons, swapped between easily with the Nunchuk control stick. Using the right weapon is key to higher scores, and in some cases simple survival:
- Blaster/Cannon— A solid "all purpose" weapon. Blasters fire a short burst of shots. Cannons are slower single-shot weapons that can be charged up for more powerful blasts. Each character only has access to one of these weapons.
- Lock-On Missiles— Holding the fire button and waving the reticule over a target acquires a lock, release to fire. Most effective against flying enemies.
- Gatling Gun— Slow startup leads to a long steady hail of bullets. Good for crowds of weaker enemies, can often knock targets out of attack poses.
- Sniper Rifle— Slow reload but incredibly powerful. Enhanced zoom feature makes getting instant-kill headshots and defeating far-away foes much easier.
In some points in the game, the character will transform into vehicle mode. In these sequences, players must control the vehicle while traveling to the next point. Weapon selection is limited to a simple forward-firing Cannon/Blaster and the Lock-On Missiles. For ground vehicles, glowing blue arrows provide a burst of turbo speed. Air vehicles have a slight "auto-aim" ability for their blasters, making it easier to hit targets. Your Power-Up Meter is converted to bonus points every time you change forms.
Beating a level opens up its "Challenge Mode". Basically, this is playing the level again, but with the aim of accomplishing four tasks. The nature of each one varies from level to level, from beating the level within a time limit, destroying X number of Y targets, not letting your health (or the health of an AI companion) drop below a certain amount, etc.
The game also features offline co-op mode in which the second player uses their Wii remote to aim a second targeting reticle. This player has access to the Blaster weapon, and can also target enemies with the "Amplifier Link", which allows both players to earn even more points for destroying them. In vehicle mode, the second player takes full control of the lock-on Missiles, as well as the Blaster for car-mode characters, leaving the first player to steer.
Points earned in each level (including the Challenge Mode versions) are used toward unlocking character art and renders.
Mission I: Damage Report
- Following an orbital blast from Trypticon, Optimus Prime sends out a call for search-and-rescue operations, which is answered by the nearby Sideswipe. He races to the scene in vehicle mode, clearing the falling debris in his way. Entering a building, he finds several Autobots pinned down by Decepticon forces. Sideswipe gets the drop on them, taking them out one by one. As the last Decepticon falls and the Autobots make their escape, Sideswipe receives a radio broadcast from Ratchet that is suddenly cut off. Sideswipe races to Ratchet's location, rescuing another platoon of Autobots along the way. He intercepts a transmission from the Decepticons that orders troops to home in on Ratchet and bring him down. Sideswipe gets the drop on the strike force, and fights his way to Ratchet's location. The medic is pinned down by debris, but comes to, having only barely survived his encounter with Megatron. The two Autobots then make a break for it, Ratchet saying he has important information he must get to Optimus right away.
Mission II: Destination Datacore
- In order to learn more about Trypticon, Bumblebee and Ironhide are sent to Kaon to break into its datacore and steal the information they need. The initial route turns out to be a little too narrow for Ironhide to go through, so Bumblebee must go in alone for a bit. As he sneaks through the tunnels, he comes across laser sensors, forcing Bumblebee to take them out with expert sniping so they can't call for reinforcements. Once through the tunnel, a short drive gets him to the datacore's exterior, and he reunites with Ironhide... who is being chased by a squad of Seekers. After clearing out the pursuers, they head for the south access, clearing out debris and Dark Energon growths along the way. The two sneak into the increasingly-heavily-guarded core, and Ironhide begins downloading Trypticon's specs from the central terminal. He is forced to stay attached to the terminal to complete his task though as swarms of Decepticons fill the hall. Bumblebee takes out the attackers with a hail of missiles, but Ironhide's hacking attempt is soon scrambled. The pair make their escape... only to be intercepted by Soundwave and blasted by Megatron before they can get very far. Megatron gloats that they shall see just what the Decepticons can take from the two thieves...
Mission III: Ironhide's Run
- Location: Kaon—Prison
- Playable Character: Ironhide
- Ironhide fumes in his holding cell, energy shackles keeping him well in place. Suddenly, the entire building shakes with the force of an Autobot attack, and the energy bars and shackles dissipate. Ironhide knows he has to get to Bumblebee and fast before they can hook him up to a neural scanner! He makes his way through the prison, releasing Autobot prisoners by shooting the control panels to their cells. After a drive through various debris-strewn access tunnels, he enters the central interrogation chamber. Taking out a few sensor turrets, he finds Bumblebee is already being scanned. After clearing out the guards, he blasts the scanner, freeing Bee, but it's too late; they got the information they wanted. Both Autobots make their escape, taking to vehicle mode. Air Raid comes in over the comm, offering air support once the two get into the open road. The two are cut off by a dropship full of Decepticons, but a timely carpet-bombing from Air Raid clears the way. All three hit the highway, and return to Optimus with the intel they've recovered.
Mission IV: Pulling the Plug
- Air Raid is sent to the Geosynchronous Energon Bridge in order to shut down the power supply feeding Trypticon. The flier is forced to go underground, navigating narrow tunnels and bladed traps while shooting down Seeker patrols. Making his way through the sensors in the security station, Air Raid thinks he's got clean break, but a squad of Decepticons prove him wrong. Air Raid makes a break for it in jet mode, shooting down his pursuers and the anti-aircraft guns blocking his path. Losing them, Air Raid enters a disused sewer-like region, which he quickly finds to be crawling with Core Mites. Ironhide informs him over the comm that they're giving off Dark Energon signatures. Gatling fire clears out the swarms, and he makes his way to the security terminal. With the security disabled, Air Raid flies through another access tunnel leading to a magma-filled chamber crawling not only with Mites, but giant serpentine Core Creatures! Missiles blow the armor off the serpents, and with the wildlife out of the way, Air Raid has access to the bridge controls... except for that squad of Decepticons, led by a massive Destroyer unit. After it falls, Air Raid finally makes his way to the controls, shutting down the flow of energon to the orbiting Decepticon superweapon.
At one point, Air Raid stares down a lone Core Mite. Not shooting it triggers a communication from Ironhide urging him to use the universal greeting on it. The rest of the level plays out as normal from there. This does nothing in normal gameplay, but is the way to achieve one of the trophies in this level's Challenge Mode.
Mission V: Paving The Way
- Location: Iacon State
- Playable Character: Bumblebee
- Now that Trypticon has been neutralized, the Autobots begin moving supplies to the evacuation site in preparation for their exodus. Bumblebee is sent ahead of the supply convoy to scout for Decepticon attacks. Sneaking into a high building, he follows a pair of Decepticons to a whole group of them waiting in ambush. He clears them out, but Optimus radios back, alerting him that the convoy is under assault. Bee races along the highway, taking out as many Seekers as he can en-route to the convoy. Once reunited with the supply convoy, he finds it stalled by a roadblock and Optimus taking heavy fire. Once the Decepticons attacking from the rear are cleared out, the others fall back. Bee continues his pursuit, making his way into the roadblock's interior and deactivating the gate.
- With the convoy now free to advance, Bee takes point again, and discovers another Decepticon ambush lying in wait. The combination of sniper rifle and explosive energy crates nearby clears out most of the force easily, but additional Sniper units and Seekers make Bee's job a bit more difficult than it appears at first. Another obstacle clear, Bumblebee moves on, only to witness a huge Decepticon warship setting up another assault. Racing ahead, he finds an anti-aircraft gun that's not only annihilating the Autobots' air support, but the blasts are so powerful that each bolt causes the area to shake, throwing off his aim as he tries to clear out the guards. A good blaster-bolt to the control panel causes an overload that shuts down the gun. Advancing Autobots report that there's a second gun up ahead, and Bee makes his way there at speed in order to hit the second gun's reactor before the first blows. Once there, expert sniping hits the panel, but more troops swarm in, including a Destroyer. Bee and the Autobots take out enough Decepticons to make their escape in vehicle mode before the guns go critical.
Mission VI: Countdown to Hope
- Location: Iacon State
- Playable Character: Air Raid
- As the Autobots load up their escape ships, the Decepticons Skywarp and Thundercracker make a strike. Air Raid takes to the skies to defend the ship. Bumblebee reports a massive Decepticon strike force at Point Epsilon, and the two Autobots take out the advancing forces. With Bumblebee able to hold the front, Air Raid teams up with Jetfire in the skies. After a bit of friendly rivalry shooting down Decepticon air troops, Air Raid once again hits the ground to handle more incoming fighters, and is forced to keep moving to dodge and destroy a particularly persistent nest of Snipers. Air Raid and Jetfire re-team up to destroy an incoming Decepticon cruiser; a hail of gatling cannon fire rips through its armor and sends it into the ground. The two lead Seekers rejoin the fray, with Air Raid tackling Thundercracker as Jetfire handles Skywarp. Air Raid gives chase through a large tunnel teeming with huge fan-blades, following Thundercracker to a power complex. Air Raid lands and gets in a close-quarters shootout with the Seeker, driving him away from the complex with charged-up blaster fire before Thundercracker can properly plant explosives. The Autobots chase the retreating Seekers through the air, pelting them and the other retreating Decepticons with missiles until they're far enough away from the launch site.
Mission VII: Severing the Cord
- Location: Orbital Debris
- Playable Character: Jetfire
- Three Autobot ships have launched, but a sudden series of orbital blasts rips through two; Trypticon is back online! Jetfire takes to the debris field surrounding Cybertron to disconnect the energon relay satellites feeding the superweapon. Strreaking through the debris and swarms of mine-dropping Seekers, Jetfire infiltrates the first relay, making his way to the engeron stabilizer, only to face down a Destroyer unit. Once it's down, Jetfire plants a charge and hoofs it clear of the blast. With one relay down, he streaks to the next as the Autobots push through Trypticon's weakening defenses. Once inside, Jetfire accidentally blasts a huge cache of energon crates, which triggers multiple explosions throughout the ship. With little time to escape, Jetfire is forced to fight his way through another Destroyer before the relay goes critical (though he gets to take some potshots at fleeing Decepticons through the hellfire erupting all around them). Making his way to the biggest of the relays, Jetfire flies through its superstructure until it's safe to land. The Autobots' attacks are already tearing the outer hull apart, making Jetfire's journey harder, but he makes his way to the stabilizer. Both land and air Destroyers are waiting for him, as well as a large squad of troops. Jetfire is forced to destroy the defenses and plant the charge quickly, taking out the final relay and giving the Autobots temporary safety from Trypticon's cannon.
Mission VIII: Battle to Extinction
- Location: Iacon—Blast Crater
- Playable Character: Optimus Prime
- Its power cut off, Trypticon plummets to the surface of Cybertron. After the earth-shaking impact, the Autobots think it may finally be over... but a monstrous mechanical roar says otherwise! Optimus, Ironhide and Bumblebee race to the impact zone, blasting their way through the falling debris. Ironhide splits off from the others, and Optimus and Bumblebeee make for an access tunnel to advance without having to worry about pieces of flaming death raining down on their heads. Unfortunately, several Decepticon troops have the same idea, leading to a close-quarters firefight. The two slowly advance, taking out a rapid-cannon Destroyer in the process, only to be flanked by a squad led by a missile-launching Destroyer.
- Once the way is clear to the surface, there's a nasty surprise ahead... Trypticon in robot mode! Optimus and Bumblebee race to the behemoth, blasting their way through debris and a few Decepticon fliers. A squad of land troops intercept them, and Bumblebee draws the gatling-Destroyer's fire, allowing Prime to flank the Decepticons. A warship comes onto the scene as well, spraying missiles through the battlefield. After taking out the ship's underside guns, more Snipers and Destroyers swarm the area. Unable to wait for Air Raid to clear the path ahead, Optimus races through the barricade, ramping a massive gap in the bridge. Trypticon in sight, he tears through the rubble-strewn wastes, while avoiding the monster's energy beams. Joined by a huge squad of Autobots, they begin their assault, discovering that they must concentrate their fire on the inside of Trypticon's mouth to truly damage him. Unfortunately, that's when he unleashes his devastating energy blast, capable of obliterating even Optimus with ease.
- Using missile locks and well-timed launches, repeated salvos finally begin to damage the beast. Optimus is forced to move to a new vantage point as Trypticon changes tactics, unleashing a hail of missiles from pods on his main body. Missile locks eventually destroy the pods, injuring—and angering—him even more. He belches out a hail of mortars, but Optimus continues to focus on his mouth with missile fire. The monster soon lunges, destroying the structure Prime was using as cover. Prime is injured but functional, and is forced to race back across a rubble-strewn road to Trypticon's position to take another shot and bringing him down. Though Trypticon mixes his kill-beam with the missile swarms, repeated blaster fire to his vulnerable mouth finally brings the behemoth crashing down. Though Trypticon's threat has ended, Optimus knows the war is far from over...
Mission I: The Ending Begins
- Location: Iacon—Blast Site
- Playable Character: Megatron
- Megatron gloats at the chaos and destruction caused by his new orbiting superweapon, Trypticon. He orders Starscream and Skywarp to mop up any survivors, but when Starscream whines about such a menial task, Megatron turns and orders him—at cannon-point—to return to Trypticon and clean up orbital debris instead. As Starscream jets off in a huff, Megatron takes to tank mode and orders his troops to scour the area and kill everything in sight. He intercepts a squad of Autobots fleeing from Skywarp, gunning them down mercilessly. One manages to escape, and Megatron gives chase, obliterating swarms of Aerialbots in the process. Skywarp reports that he's spotted Ratchet trying to evacuate survivors, and Megatron moves in. The two find an Autobot ship loading robots in for evac, and have a bit of fun killing the fleeing Autobots before a stream of missiles from a Decepticon ship sends a building crashing down, smashing the dropship beneath it. Megatron continues his murder-spree until he finds Ratchet. The pair trade insults and blaster-fire, with Ratchet being forced to retreat further and further until there's no place to run. Wounded, Ratchet is still defiant. Megatron kicks him off the high ledge he's trapped on, laughing as the medic plummets...
Mission II: Ire in the Sky
- Location: Orbital Debris
- Playable Character: Starscream
- Starscream is not happy. Taking out his frustrations on floating debris, he radios Thundercracker to meet him at the main cruiser. Once there, the pair concentrate their blaster fire on a particularly large asteroid that is actually something of a threat, blowing it to smithereens. The pair suddenly find they have something more interesting to shoot at: Aerialbots! Starscream streaks through the rubble, taking down swarms of fighters before tackling grounded troops inside one of the wrecked orbiting bases. His spree is interrupted by his former teammate Jetfire, and the pair trade blaster fire. Thundercracker leaps in from behind, catching Jetfire in a crossfire, but the Autobot manages to escape. Starscream gives chase, eventually finding himself in the laser-sights of Autobot Sniper units. Starscream continues his advance, and eventually runs Jetfire off. Megatron comes in over the comm, and kindly alerts Starscream that he's left his post and left Trypticon and the energon relays unguarded (oh, and there will be a reckoning, oh yes). Starscream makes it to the relay and takes out the attacking Autobots, then moves to tackle a large cruiser that Thundercracker's found on its way. Starscream prepares his assault... only to have Thundercracker swoop in and take care of it himself. Starscream continues to grouse as the pair return to Trypticon.
Mission III: Datacore Denial
- Location: Kaon
- Playable Character: Soundwave
- Soundwave discovers that the Autobots have infiltrated the Datacore. Megatron sends him and Barricade to take care of the intrusion. The two speed out, and Soundwave must navigate a highway overgrown with Dark Energon crystals while dealing with swarms of Aerialbots before they can shut off access to the Datacore. An Autobot Destroyer blocks Soundwave's path and brings the roof down, forcing him to take an alternate route. he makes his way to a security station and downloads the information on the Autobots' advance, radioing Barricade to meet him at the assigned coordinates. When Soundwave arrives, though, he finds Barricade in the middle of a shooting gallery. The Autobots are soon joined by an aerial Destroyer, but the pair make short work of it. Soundwave intercepts a data download but cuts it off quickly, and races to intercept the escaping Autobots. Weaving his way through Dark Energon crystals and moving walls (huh?), he reaches the intercept point in time, causing Ironhide and Bumblebee to skid out of control... and right into a fusion blast from Megatron.
Mission IV: Clean Sweep
- Location: Iacon State
- Playable Character: Skywarp
- Using information pulled from the captive Bumblebee, the Decepticons lay siege to Iacon's outer regions, herding the Autobots inward. Megatron puts the raid in the hands of Skywarp, who takes great pleasure in gunning down fleeing Autobots, and using energon caches to blow up big crowds. Thundercracker sustains heavy damage, and Skywarp provides cover for him by blowing away the anti-aircraft defenses so his teammate can get his energon levels back up and weapon systems online. Skywarp heads to his objective, but a platoon of guards and a Destroyer get in his way. Skywarp eliminates them and slips through the closing doors of the power station. Dodging a security sensor's beam, he targets three weak points in the generator, sniping them and setting the plant to blow. He makes his escape and targets an energon relay, slipping through a refinery tunnel. Smashing through the gates ahead hurts a lot, so he must blast multiple control panels to open them while dodging anti-aircraft fire. Once at the control station, security protocol is activated, and Skywarp must take out multiple "weak points" on the main energon pumps without triggering the sensor beam, lest he get right in the crossfire of a lot of artillery cannons capable of turning him into a greasy smear in seconds. Once the pump starts to blow, multiple Destroyers block Skywarp's escape, but careful blaster fire mixed with targeting energon caches on conveyors quickly take out the defenses. Once in the clear, Skywarp races ahead of the expanding fireball, mission accomplished.
Mission V: Core Experience
- Location: Core—Energon Access Tunnel
- Playable Character: Starscream
- Starscream is sent into the Core of Cybertron in order to reactivate the sabotaged Geosynchronous Energon Bridge. He navigates obstacle-strewn tunnels, taking out laser-gates before finding the first power relay station. As the generator powers up, Starscream finds himself under attack by a massive Core Creature and swarms of Core Mites. Retreating through a lava-filled tunnel in jet mode, Starscream is surrounded by Creatures, but missile fire sends them to the magma below. Once through another set of laser grids, he must take out several ground-based Creatures and more Mites before reaching and activated the second relay. He reaches the Bridge emitter in the next chamber, only to find Megatron already there. The Decepticon leader is, as normal, in a foul mood, yelling at Starscream for taking too long and failing to properly adjust the emitter's coordinates. Enraged, Starscream charges, only to be knocked on his aft. Megatron aims his cannon at the sniveling Seeker, and gives him a chance to prove his worth... on the front lines of the upcoming Iacon assault, a post that is almost assuredly suicide.
Mission VI: Race for Iacon
- Location: Iacon City
- Playable Character: Barricade
- Barricade puts up with the taunting of Skywarp and Thundercracker on their way to Iacon. He roars along the highway, avoiding roadblocks and the attacks of Aerialbots, and is forced to take to robot mode to clear a large roadblock guarded by Autobots. He resumes his drive along the road, putting the pedal to the metal to get to the main gate before they can close it. A gatling-gun Destroyer leads a squad of defenders, but Barricade takes them out and slips into Iacon proper. Another long stretch of road ends in a closed gate, with Sideswipe and a swarm of Autobot guards rolling up behind. Sideswipe's laser-guided sniper fire gives Barricade the opening to clear out the other guards, and the minimal cover lets the Decepticon's blaster find its mark. Starscream finally arrives on the scene, and orders Barricade to attack the Council Chamber. Barricade is the first on the scene, letting him snipe the guards at his leisure. But more guards arrive, including multiple Destroyer units. once the defenses are cleared, Barricade enters the Council Chamber... to find a frustrated Starscream and no-one else. Megatron alerts them both that the Autobots are evacuating, and their new assignment is to stop the exodus ships from leaving.
Mission VII: A Means to The End
- Location: Core - Orbital Debris
- Playable Character: Thundercracker
- Megatron watches three Autobot ships make their way to escape position, and orders Thundercracker and Skywarp to plant homing beacons on each one. Thundercracker rockets through the debris field, taking out Aerialbots and using the larger pieces of debris as landing points. Inside one, he is pinned down in a narrow tunnel by a gatling-Destroyer, giving him very little opportunity to gun the behemoth down between sweeps of blaster-fire. After a stern reminder from Megatron as to his mission, Thundercracker intercepts the first cruiser and plants the beacon on it. As he makes his escape he's pinned down by Autobots, but Skywarp arrives to draw their fire in a close-quarters shootout. Skywarp leaps into the open to draw the fire of a squad of Autobots, allowing Thundercracker to snipe them in peace. A short flight gets the second beacon planted, and a blast from Trypticon sends the second ship to its doom. Making his way through another large chunk of destroyed base, Thundercracker heads for the Council ship through heavy firepower. He plants the beacon, and watches as the blast from Trypticon punches through... but does not destroy the ship. The Autobots have weakened Trypticon again, and Megatron orders Thundercracker back to defend the superweapon.
Mission VIII: The Tyranny Within
- Location: Trypticon
- Playable Character: Megatron
- Trypticon reports multiple intrusions, and Megatron moves out to eliminate them. He is immediately greeted by a gatling-Destroyer and multiple squads of Autobots. Megatron races through Trypicon's superstructure as the behemoth reports multiple system failures and breach points. Making his way to the power chamber, he finds a pair of Destroyers attacking the core, and must take them down before the superweapon goes critical. Though the attackers are turned to scrap, Trypticon is still severely weakened and plummets towards the planet. Megatron makes his way to the datacore inside Trypticon's head; if Trypticon is lost, then he hopes to download and salvage as much of his information on Dark Energon and the giant's weapons systems to start over, though Trypticon really doesn't like the idea of Megatron ripping out part his brain. Megatron shoots down invading Aeriabots through Trypticon's mouth, then tackles two more Destroyers that have entered the head. Finally free, he rips the datacore from the protesting Trypticon and leaps out of the beast's optic. Back at Kaon, Soundwave notes that Megatron doesn't seem too bothered by the loss of Trypticon... and as Megatron explains, that was merely one battle in a war where he still has the upper hand. And with the datacore still in his possession, his plans can continue...