The lights are on
Unfortunately, I agree with you on almost all of this. I didn't have many problems with the notoriety, since the den defense was such a hassle I made tracking down heralds a priority until I had all my dens locked down. I found the rooftop guards do give you a warning if you're not on "alert" status, but I try to just run away rather than waste time killing them off.
I did, however, have a whole lot of frustrating experiences with the camera swinging wildly, causing "up" on the left analog to change from "run forward" to "leap to your death." Or, the camera getting stuck in tree branches during swordfights.
It's definitely my least favorite in the series, which is a shame because I was looking forward to it so badly.