Another note, I should point out that unlike later iterations of the franchise, you won’t have to play for hours and hours. Unlike AC2 onwards, AC1 is very short. I played it for about an hour each evening after work. Each hour ended with an assassination at the end. So your perception of walking around for hours is probably colored by future AC games in the series.
Secondly, this is just one of those unique aspects of AC that I absolutely loved. The fact that stealth involved blending with the crowd instead of skulking in shadows? I loved it. The fact that it had a “low profile” and “high profile” way of making your way through the game? I loved it. It took some getting used to, but once you did, it was such an innovative way of traversing the game world. Instead of worrying about pressing a button to jump, you just control high profile or low profile, and your character takes care of the rest. I loved it. It added to the flavor of being an observer of someone else’s memories of events as opposed to creating events yourself.