Anti-Climax Boss: Every one of them, but the most prominent is the Big Bad who comes close to being a Cutscene Boss. The closest you get to having a boss fight with him is when you chase him on a carriage and punch him while falling off a cliff.
Arc Fatigue: Note that this isn't an indictment of the game as a whole; Constantinople is a great setting idea, bomb-crafting is neat, and there are some really good moments... but while Ezio and Altair got a well-received closure, some players and critics felt that Ezio's story was kinda played out by this point, having already completed his Hero's Journey and a post-Hero's Journey.
Awesome Music: The music from the E3 2011 trailer, the triumphant and sorrowful "Iron" (by Woodkid) seems almost written for this purpose. You feel what Ezio must be feeling, from finally reaching his destination, to fighting for his life and experiencing hallucinations, to being dragged to his supposed death. It sums up perfectly the finality and closure the game will bring.
Scheduled for Deletion is very powerful. Considering it's also used in the trailer for The Lost Archive, it may very well double as Sixteen's theme — fitting, especially with that title. A pity it's so short.
Den Defense. Say what you will about the minigame, but the music is amazing.
On The Attack is really badass. Similar to AC 1's post-assassination theme, in that it has a techno-ish feel to it and feels pretty damn intense, except this time, there is an epic distortion guitar and various other instruments at play as well.
Ubisoft is in some kind of competition with Naughty Dog over chase sequences; Sequence 8, Memory 3; End Of The Road has Ezio parasailing behind a runaway carriage, dive-bombing like an attack falcon to dispatch mooks!
The Hagia Sofia level brings back some great memories of the Hidden Tombs from Assassin's Creed II.
The Minstrels level, which asks you to beat up the annoying bastards and then lets you pretend to be one, is the Funniest Level Ever!
Contested Sequel: Reaction towards Revelations among the fanbase and some critics was somewhat mixed at the time of its release. It was either seen as a decent, even remarkable sequel for Brotherhood that ties the stories of Ezio and Altair beautifully before the next installment... Or a worrying early sign of the eventual Seasonal Rot and severe case of Sequelitis that the series became notorious for in the beginning of the eighth console generation. Even nowadays despite more favorable reception from fans, it is still debated whether this is the strongest or weakest installment of the Ezio games.
Demonic Spiders: Janissaries. Ubisoft felt the need to take Papal Guards, the Demonic Spiders from the previous game and make them even stronger. Much more health than a Papal Guard, immunity to execution chains and counter-kills, very strong ranged attacks, and very difficult to hit in melee. Good luck if you ever get into open conflict with one, let alone a group of them. Subverted when you get the Sicilian Rapier, which can kill them all like flies.
Also, Siege Engines in Den Defense, especially the cannon types. They make quick work of your barricades (the cannon types in particular can destroy fully-upgraded barricades in a single hit) and take forever to take down. If there's a single enemy that will end a Den Defense game, this is it.
Game-Breaker: Before patches/the Ezio Collection), Piri Reis would sell you bomb equipment with a 15% discount, and would buy it back at the full retail value. Six figures for fifteen minutes work, anyone?
Genius Bonus: There is a hypothesis that suggests that the human population was reduced to around 10k-15k around 70,000 years ago. Look up "Toba Catastrophe Theory". Sure, it wasn't caused by a solar flare, but you know - Alternate History.
Good Bad Bugs: It's possible to unequip all of Ezio's armor and to lower his hood by replaying and then quitting certain missionsnote Armor by restarting the first mission and quitting immediately once they enter gameplay and hood by restarting memory 6-4 and declining the mission. Some players actually prefer having no armor and Ezio's hood down as he doesn't look out-of-place like with the traditional assassin gear.
It's Short, So It Sucks!: Has the shortest main quest out of all the Assassin's Creed games, barring Assassin's Creed Rogue. The sharp reduction in the number of faction side quests as well as the removal of Assassination Contracts doesn't help much.
It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Oliver Bowden's novelization of the game is rather dry, sticking heavily to the source material of the game and adapting the Altair scenes again (Bowden had earlier in 2011 done a novelization of the first game and included what would become Altair's flashback scenes). It's commonly considered the weakest of his novels, largely just for adding nothing the game doesn't give you (Unless once doesn't get Assassin's Creed Embers, which ties up Ezio's story).
The game itself is also criticized gameplay wise for basically being Brotherhoodagain in a different city, and with the few new additions (tower defense, bomb crafting, hookblade-zipling) hard to get excited for.
Ho Yay: It's hard to interpret the way Sulemain playfully refers to Ezio as 'my handsome minstrel' as anything but this.
Swami, Abbas's Dragon, also deserves some credit for the above actions. He was the one who actually killed Sef and Malik and, when he meets Altair in person, brags about how he told Sef that Altair was the one who ordered him killed. He then kills Altair's wife, Maria as she's trying to stop Altair from killing him.
The Big Bad Prince Ahmet, who took Sofia hostage with her ransom being the Masyaf Keys, but presented himself as a sincere Templar who believed in the ideals of peace through unity (in the same vein as those from the first game) and described their conflict as "two men who should be friends quarreling over the keys to a library." Ezio hands over the keys and Ahmet allows him to go unimpeded to rescue a hooded "Sofia" atop a tower, only for Ezio to find a decoy (although apparently kidnapped to act as an unwitting decoy), then turn around to glimpse the real Sofia being hanged from a tree far, far away.
Finding Yusuf dead. It gets bonus points for sending Ezio into an Unstoppable Rage.
In The Lost Archive, finding out that Lucy is a traitor is tough enough but Ubisoft gets some serious kudos for revealing it just before Clay's breakdown — because you realize that he would have been fine if Lucy hadn't turned on the Assassins, because if she'd remained loyal, she would have gotten him out before the Bleeding Effect could have done any permanent damage. He'd have suffered no breakdown. No insanity. No suicide. She didn't just destroy his life, she destroyed who he was. She stood back and let Vidic break him to the point that killing himself with a ballpoint pen and painting desperate messages on the walls and floor in his own blood was a better option than living. She did that to him. It also has the distinct honor of retroactively making the player punch of the last game a Moment of Awesome.
Worst of all is probably playing Altair's last moments of life, and knowing it. The game really hits you hard when it tells you to "Sit a moment and rest...", directing you to the very chair that Ezio finds Altair's remains in over 250 years later. It doubles as a Tear Jerker.
Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: The Mediterranean Defence meta-game can be this, as it surprisingly adsorbs lots of time and resources, once the player figures out its mechanics.note The game does a poor job of informing the player that Assassin recruits can be dispatched to the cities once they fall into Assassin hands. This, combined with the fact that all Templar Dens can be cleared relatively early, meant that the player can easily pass the time recruiting Assassins to send to the cities, while handling the tons of notoriety which follows from mass recruitment.
That One Achievement: The Lost Archive has two trophies/achievements that require you to take no damage during certain first-person platforming segments. While the summonable platforms do their job well in normal gameplay, they still suffer from enough Hit Box Dissonance to make a No-Damage Run more difficult than it needs to be — the launcher platforms in particular tend to very precise about where you can land on them without immediately falling off. To rub it in, the segments are also located a good distance into the level they're in, yet require you to restart the whole damn stage if you want to retry.note At the very least, "The end of the line" allows skipping almost directly to the "Styx" segment if you can perfectly both aim a jump and summon a platform inside a small area that allows it below the first ledge of the level
That One Level: The first carriage chase after exiting Masyaf early in the game. Nothing else in the game compares to a Luck-Based Mission that's required to proceed... though it's less luck-based if you have good reflexes. note As Ezio is being dragged, you repeatedly come across sections of gravel and brush. If you see them ahead-of-time and avoid them, you don't get damaged or knocked back at all.
Vindicated by History: At the time of its release, Revelations was positively received by critics but was considered a disappointing continuation to the series for its lack of serious innovation to the series. However, with more recent titles such as Unity, Syndicate and Odyssey, the game was began to be looked more fondly for its more traditional gameplay, beautiful art direction and map design, and emotional soundtrack and story bits.