Actually, what bothered me most about the "10 year story arc" was that you never felt that passage of time. It would have been nice if characters showed at least some sign of ageing. Maybe some faint crowsfeet creeping in, hair starting to turn grey, or you know, a change of clothes...I mean are we seriously meant to believe that Hawk was the only person in the city to get more that one new outfit or a change of hairstyle in a decade!? That's just weird.
Heh, that's what kind of bugged me about Assassin's Creed II. The story spans almost 30 years and while Ezio gets a beard, everyone else in 1499 still looks exactly liked they did in 1476.