Transformers: The War for Cybertron theme contains a fair number of similarities and differences in relation to other Transformers themes.
On the planet Cybertron, prior to the Transformers' contact with the planet Earth, it is civil war. Robotic in nature, each Cybertronian has the ability to transform from their robot mode to an alternate form, such as a tank or jet. Two factions, the Autobots and the Decepticons, vie for control of their home world. The Autobots followed the command of Zeta Prime until he was killed, leaving behind an inexperienced leader, Optimus, who lead the Autobot forces to prevent Megatron from corrupting the planet with Dark Energon. These events have left the planet unable to sustain life, and the Autobots, desperate to ensure the continued existence of their race, have sought to flee the planet. The Decepticons, still bent on domination, will stop at nothing to ensure that the Autobots either submit to the Decepticons or are eliminated.
- Optimus was once known as Orion Pax and has a mysterious past with Megatron.
- Dark Energon is an emanation of Unicron and corrupts Primus-born cybertronians. It can be used for a number of deadly uses such as increasing one's power, reviving the dead, corrupting Transformers and even weakening some.
- Grimlock and Co. are experimented on by Shockwave and turned into Dinobots.
- Weapons are not held in hands, but rather assimilated onto arms.
- Metroplex sacrifices himself, giving his energon to power the Ark.
- Trypticon is transformed into the Nemesis space ship.
- Soundwave transforms into a car.
- Shockwave transforms into a jet.