The article describes a tutorial in single-player mode with Starscream or Ironhide as your teacher depending on faction choice that covers the basics of control, targeting, and so forth. One complaint they cited was that transformation is not just clicking a button, instead you have to hold down a button. As long as holding it, you’re in vehicle mode, let go and your back to robot mode which can be a problem during certain game moments.
Each character has a primary weapon, secondary weapon and special ability that are toggled through by hitting the left trigger. The special abilities attempt to reflect the character so Ratchet can heal nearby troops, Prime can take damage for others, Megatron can instant kill and Ironhide fires automatic rocket fire.
First player objectives vary depending on faction. For example the first level objective was to kidnap scientists (by smashing their building) and taking them to a pin. Multi-player mode has a 4 v 4 battle (which I assume will be online also) that seems balanced. For example tiny Bumblebee can hold his own against Grindor because of his speed allows him to dodge attacks and do quick hit and runs. Other modes include Deathmatch (Autobots vs. Decepticons), control points and capture the flag. Of note is death now has a time penalty in returning to the action as have to wait for a countdown and them plummet to the ground as a meteor before rejoining the fight.
Ironically, the most improved part of the game are the transformations, which look terrific. If you jump off a building and transform into an auto or a jet on the way down, you'll either hit the ground with wheels screeching, or rocket off into the sky -- pretty thrilling stuff. A couple of the characters, like Sideways, are armed with sniper rifles, allowing you to grab a good vantage point and take a few shots before zooming off to a new spot. Translation: kablam, transform, roll out, transform, shoot again.