The single-player side of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
loosely follows the plot of the movie. Playing as either the Autobots or Decepticons, you go along with a plot involving a shard of the Allspark and emergence of the Fallen, who is sort of the "true leader" of the Decepticons. The plot is obviously kept as vague a possible to not ruin the plot for people who haven't seen the movie yet, but it's a little too vague.
With the exception of an intro movie and some odd, static-filled map images, it is hard to get a sense of what is going on. Even the mission briefings offer little clarification. The only cool part about the briefings is hearing members discuss your progress. If you're taking too long to complete missions or skipping secondary objectives, they'll comment on it.
The mission structure is much different than the last Transformers game. Its understandable considering the new development team, but the semi-open world structure was one of the things I really liked about the first game. With Fallen, you're given a 5 -6 level set in four geographic regions. Beyond sharing a region, there's little continuity between missions, leading most of them to feel like random arena-style missions similar to the Unreal series. Mission goals usually sound much grander than they really are. Sometimes you'll need to protect and ferry people around the map, but most of the time you're blowing up enemies. It's not a bad thing, but wears thin.
Every mission also includes a set of two secondary missions. When the secondary missions fit within the context of the main mission, they're great. Most of the time, however, they make little sense. Still, secondary missions are a great source of extra Energon, which is used to increase your character's stats.
Missions are also wrapped with a series of challenges. Some involve using a special ability "X" number of times, while others involve pulling off other in-game feats. Completing challenges unlocks a number of extras, ranging from concept art to full-length episodes of the original Generation One series. You can also unlock special character variations for multiplayer.
Multiplayer is easily the best part of the game and more than likely the one aspect that will keep me coming back. The concept behind the mode is brilliant - Counter-Strike with Transformers. Every character has their own role (tank, healer, sniper...) and you'll need to mix-and-match these abilities to win. In addition to Team and solo Deathmatch, there's a variant of Capture the Flag where teams compete for pieces of the Allspark. There's also a control points map, which provided some of the more exciting matches online. Finally there's "One Shall Stand," a protect the leader/ escort variant. The catch is that only the leader can see the opposing team's leader, so he needs to direct his team. If your leader dies, you not only lose sight of the enemy leader, but your ability to respawn. This is a challenging, but incredibly fun mode provided your team works as a team. I was lucky enough to get into an extremely good playgroup, but we'll see if that carries over after launch.