This is the huge chunk of landmass that connects Acre, Damascus and Jerusalem. It's littered with View Points, sub objectives like collecting flags, or killing Templars (60 of them in the game) who are hidden away. At first as well, certain regions will be locked, the memory sectors not yet open. This takes away from the free roaming aspect initially but by the last few missions of the game the entire Kingdom will be yours for the exploring.
It's also littered with various guards from the Saracen and Crusader factions; you'll be able to traverse it on foot or with one of the many horses. The controls for the horse riding are simple and you can gallop to jump obstacles and flatten enemy soldiers. You can also slash them with Altair's sword whilst on horse back. If you want you can even make the horse rear (Lone Ranger style) and the beast will even kick out at enemy soldiers if you're battling them close to it.
If you're stealthier, you can opt to blend (on foot or on your horse) this slows you down to a snail's pace and provides you ample opportunity to slip past most guards unnoticed. Of course there are some guards that can spot your garb and will pick you out no matter what you do, these are usually archers and must be psychic compared to the foot soldiers.
It's worth mentioning here, the guards have several states of awareness. These are all indicated by their stances, if they are unaware, they stroll casually on by with their hands at their sides. Suspicious guards move their hand to their swords and will be on the look out for anything odd. Informed guards trigger a red eye and a sound, these won't tolerate you for long and if you so much as bump them, you're in for a fight.City LifeAcre
The game can be broken up into 3 phases, once you get to a city; you're in the first phase. Investigation:
You can seek out a View Point and unlock the sub-missions that way, or if you want you can head to the Assassin's Bureau and speak to the guy in charge there. Later on in the game you'll need to do your own work in that respect. View Points are denoted by the eagle circling them; once you're up there you can synchronise with Altair's memory of the area and unlock GPS icons in the Animus map screen.
It's there that the various sub-missions suffer from some very basic problems; they are all the same pretty much. Sure, they are fun to do, but once you've done a set in one sector of the city you know what to expect for the rest. I'd have preferred a lot more variety in these to be honest.
Save the Citizens: By battling a group of guards, more guards, and possible some more who show up just to annoy you, you'll earn the gratitude of the peasant, not to mention unlocking Vigilantes or Scholars. The former are good blockers when you're being chased, the latter allow you to blend with them and sneak into places where a bit of parkour might be hard to do.
Informant Missions: I hate these, I hate timed missions and in a game where I'm supposed to be a stealthy assassin I'd prefer to take things at my own pace. If you rush someone with a timer, you will artificially shorten their play experience not to mention frustrate the hell out of them. The missions are usually in the vein of, collecting a bunch of flags in a clock-based parkour race, killing some people because your fellow assassins are so thick they screwed it up. Killing said individuals but against a timer.
Eavesdropping: Sit on a bench; listen in, hard to fail.
Interrogation: Listen to a Despot rant on about how cool his master is but how bad someone else is and then follow them. Have a bout of fisticuffs and then find out important information; let them go, into the arms of death. Stab.
Pickpocket: Listen to two guys talk, follow one of them and steal his information. Hard to fail again, unless you are impatient and pick the wrong moment to strike.
When you're in the city it is advisable to remember the rules of being a social chameleon, move slowly, don't run and don't climb up buildings unless you really have to. Use ladders to reach rooftops and if you're having trouble with those pesky timed assassination missions against multiple targets, get onto the roof tops and use throwing knives. If you run out of knives, you'll need to nick some more by pick-pocketing thugs
You can easily use the crowd to blend in, push past people gently in low profile mode and press B to nudge jar carriers out of the way without smashing their goods to the ground roughly. Resist the urge to hurl annoying nutters or beggars out of the way.
Once you've done 2-3 of these side-missions, you get to go back to the AB and report on what you've found. The guy in charge gives you a white feather and you're off on phase #2