Compared to the puzzles and deadly environments, the combat is actually kinda boring. It's been fine-tuned since the last game (and is a great deal less bloody), but it still gets tedious, with the Prince repetitively slashing away at small mobs of enemies. There are more interesting ways to get rid of bad guys, though, and those who prefer stealth will like the new "speed kills," which let you sneak up on enemies and hack them to death through a series of timed button hits. (These are also instrumental to winning the four or so boss battles.)
Fighting gets a hell of a lot more interesting when the Dark Prince shows up. A by-product of the internal struggle between the original charming, arrogant Princeand the "battle-hardened outcast"he became in Warrior Within, the Dark Prince is a shock-haired, charcoal-skinnedwraith with a razor-sharp whip imbedded in his forearm. Most of the time, he's just a sneering voice in the Prince's head, but he takes over when the story calls for it. And while the regular ol' Prince is plenty graceful, his acrobatic slice-and-dice looks clumsy next to the Dark Prince's savage chain-whip ballet. The Dark Prince also has an easier time navigating obstacles, as his whip lets him swing to places the Prince can't reach. His only real weakness is that he constantly loses health, which can only be replenished with magical sand (stored conveniently in enemy torsos).