awful Activision Transformers games based (in some part) on the Michael Bay movies? No? Good, let's work from there.
Transformers: War for Cybertron, developed by High Moon Studios (The Bourne Conspiracy, Darkwatch), takes its inspiration from the G1 universe of the '80s cartoon. Actually, that's not entirely accurate. It's more like what the new J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie is to the original. The characters are the same, their motivations are similar; however everything has a whole new (in this case, literal) paint job. Lead Designer Matt Tieger tells us the game presents "nothing that violates your expectations" and the studio worked closely with Hasbro to stay true to the original idea of the Transformers ... speaking of the original idea of Transformers, there will also be action figures based on the game's interpretations of the characters.
In War for Cybertron, players participate in two campaigns, one following the righteous Autobots and the other shadows the misunderstood Decepticons. Both campaigns take place on the Transformer home planet of Cybertron and, as Tieger puts it, "Ends up with them having no place to go."
Each campaign features three-player online (no offline or "couch") co-op. For the Autobots, the level we saw featured Optimus (not a Prime, yet) and Bumblebee meeting for the first time, and rolling along in the always awkward "third wheel" spot was Ratchet. The Decepticons included Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Soundwave and Megatron. Of course, in both cases, there are several more playable characters. For fans of the original series, many of the voices will sound wrong -- sadly, in some very important instances, the cartoon's original voice actors have passed away.