In terms of likability I’d put AC:R just above AC:B at this point - I like that when you first get to Constantinople it feels a bit messy and confusing in the scene of game-play/options - weather or not it was intentional by Ubi I don't know but it reflects the feeling Ezio would probably of had stepping into a new city and about to undertake his greatest quest of truth and knowledge.
Also when Ezio meets Sofia, Ubi hit the nail on the head showing there great skill with game narrative as the connection between the two is so well done and believable yet not over done.
Playing as Altair again? Ahhh hell ye!
The side missions are okay TBH but occasionally feel like a bit of a grind. IV also noticed taking view points is more of a formality then a challenge as the series go on.
I see what some people say about AC:R not really being solely about Assassinating people and maybe moving away from what Assassins Creed is. But what is Assassins Creed?
look at it philosophically and take in the evolution of Ezio, first we see him as a young lad, then a young assassin, then In Brotherhood - he still Assassinates but he is now in command of Assassin's - sending them on jobs that he would have done before but now has them to do it as he consecrations on the bigger picture. Same in Revelations.
For me it's not a game about Assassinating people it's a game about the story of the "Assassins Creed" and there journey through time. The world changes but there traditions and goals remain the same.
Bit of a long write up far a half way summery but Mr Myagi say, Hey, wassa matter with that?