Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Final Boss Review

Rate this post


“Deus Ex: Mankind Divided,” developed by Eidos-Montréal and published by Square Enix, is the fourth major installment in the critically acclaimed “Deus Ex” series. Released in 2016, the game continues the story of Adam Jensen, an augmented human being embroiled in a world filled with political intrigue, conspiracy, and the ethical dilemmas of transhumanism. As with its predecessors, “Mankind Divided” offers a rich, immersive experience with its blend of first-person shooter and role-playing elements, allowing players to approach missions and challenges in a variety of ways. This review will focus on the final boss of the game, examining its design, impact on the narrative, gameplay mechanics, and overall reception.

Setting the Stage

Before delving into the final boss encounter, it is essential to understand the context leading up to this climactic moment. “Mankind Divided” is set in a dystopian future where mechanically augmented humans are treated as second-class citizens following a catastrophic event known as the “Aug Incident.” Adam Jensen, now an experienced operative for Task Force 29, navigates this divided society, uncovering a web of conspiracies that threatens to tear the world apart.

Throughout the game, players experience a multitude of side quests and main missions that shape Jensen’s journey, offering moral choices that influence the story’s outcome. The game’s narrative builds tension and sets the stage for a dramatic showdown, positioning the final boss as a pivotal moment in both gameplay and storytelling.

The Final Boss: Viktor Marchenko

The final boss of “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” is Viktor Marchenko, a former Russian soldier turned augmented mercenary. Marchenko is a prominent member of the Augmented Rights Coalition (ARC), a militant group advocating for the rights of augmented individuals. He is characterized by his ruthless tactics and unyielding determination to achieve his goals, often through violent means.

Characterization and Role in the Story

Viktor Marchenko is a compelling antagonist due to his complex motivations and the personal stakes he represents for Jensen. Unlike many traditional video game villains, Marchenko is not driven by a desire for power or wealth but by a fervent belief in his cause. This ideological clash between Jensen, who seeks to bridge the gap between augmented and non-augmented humans, and Marchenko, who believes in a more radical approach, adds depth to their confrontation.

Marchenko’s role in the story is multifaceted. He serves as the primary antagonist in the latter half of the game, orchestrating several key events that escalate the conflict. His actions, including a planned attack during the G.A.R.M. facility mission and the orchestrated assault on London, highlight the growing tension and impending crisis that Jensen must thwart. This build-up ensures that the final encounter with Marchenko is not just a physical battle but a clash of ideologies, making the showdown more meaningful.

Design and Atmosphere

The final boss encounter takes place in a high-stakes environment that reflects the game’s overarching themes of conspiracy and tension. Set during the Rabi’ah Human Restoration Vote in London, the location is a hub of political and social significance, adding weight to the impending confrontation.

Visual and Environmental Design

The arena where the final showdown occurs is meticulously designed to enhance the tension and atmosphere. The level is constructed with multiple layers and pathways, providing players with various tactical options. This design choice is in line with the game’s emphasis on player choice and freedom, allowing different approaches to the boss fight.

The environment is filled with visual cues and details that reinforce the narrative. From the high-tech security measures to the chaotic aftermath of Marchenko’s assault, every element contributes to a sense of urgency and danger. The lighting, sound design, and environmental storytelling all work together to create a palpable atmosphere that heightens the player’s immersion.

Gameplay Mechanics and Player Choice

“Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” is renowned for its flexible gameplay mechanics, allowing players to approach situations in multiple ways, whether through combat, stealth, hacking, or social interactions. The final boss encounter with Marchenko is no exception, offering several methods to tackle the challenge.

Combat Approach

For players who prefer direct confrontation, the fight against Marchenko can be approached head-on. Marchenko is heavily augmented and equipped with powerful weaponry and defenses, making him a formidable opponent. Players must utilize Jensen’s combat augmentations, such as the Typhoon Explosive System, Tesla, and various firearms, to defeat him. The battle requires strategic use of cover, mobility, and resource management to overcome Marchenko’s relentless attacks.

Stealth and Hacking Approach

Alternatively, players who favor a more subtle approach can leverage their stealth and hacking skills to neutralize Marchenko. The environment is designed with various hacking opportunities, such as disabling security systems, turrets, and cameras. Players can also use non-lethal takedowns and EMP weapons to incapacitate Marchenko without resorting to lethal force. This approach requires careful planning and execution, emphasizing the importance of Jensen’s non-combat augmentations.

Social and Non-Combat Approach

In keeping with the game’s commitment to player choice, there is also an option to resolve the encounter without direct combat. Throughout the game, players can collect intelligence and evidence that can be used to confront Marchenko verbally. By presenting this information and engaging in a dialogue, players can persuade Marchenko to stand down, avoiding a violent confrontation altogether. This option rewards players who have invested in social augmentations and have taken the time to gather crucial information.

Narrative Impact and Resolution

The final boss encounter with Viktor Marchenko is not just a gameplay challenge but a critical narrative moment that brings several story threads to a conclusion. The outcome of this encounter can significantly impact the game’s ending, making it a pivotal point in Jensen’s journey.

Multiple Endings

Depending on the player’s choices throughout the game, including how they handle the final confrontation with Marchenko, “Mankind Divided” offers multiple endings. These endings reflect the consequences of Jensen’s actions, the fate of key characters, and the broader implications for the world. The resolution of the Marchenko encounter can lead to different outcomes, from preventing a catastrophic attack to facing the repercussions of a more violent resolution.

Thematic Closure

The final boss fight also serves as a thematic closure for the game’s exploration of transhumanism, societal division, and the ethical implications of augmentation. Marchenko’s radical stance contrasts with Jensen’s more balanced perspective, encapsulating the game’s central conflict. The resolution of this encounter forces players to reflect on the choices they have made and the broader message of the game.

Reception and Critique

The final boss encounter in “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” has garnered mixed reactions from players and critics. While some praise the encounter for its flexibility and narrative significance, others criticize it for various reasons.

Positive Reception

Many players and critics appreciate the final boss encounter for its alignment with the game’s core design philosophy of player choice and freedom. The ability to approach the encounter through combat, stealth, or dialogue is seen as a testament to the game’s commitment to non-linear gameplay. The narrative weight of the encounter, coupled with the high-stakes setting, is also praised for adding depth and significance to the final showdown.


On the other hand, some criticisms have been leveled at the encounter. One common critique is that the boss fight can feel anticlimactic or underwhelming, particularly for players who choose the non-combat resolution. The dialogue-based resolution, while thematically fitting, can lack the intensity expected from a final boss fight. Additionally, some players find the combat approach challenging due to Marchenko’s formidable defenses, leading to frustration.

Another point of critique is the overall pacing of the final act. Some players feel that the build-up to the final boss encounter is rushed, leaving less time for a more gradual escalation of tension. This pacing issue can impact the overall impact of the final showdown, making it feel abrupt.


The final boss encounter with Viktor Marchenko in “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” is a multifaceted and complex climax to a game that prides itself on player choice and narrative depth. While it may not satisfy all players due to its varying approaches and pacing, it remains a significant and impactful moment in the game. By offering multiple ways to resolve the encounter, the game stays true to its ethos of freedom and flexibility, allowing players to shape their experience in a manner that reflects their choices and playstyle.

Ultimately, the final boss encounter encapsulates the strengths and challenges of “Mankind Divided” as a whole. It is a testament to the game’s ambition and the intricate web of storylines and mechanics that define the “Deus Ex” series. Whether through combat, stealth, or dialogue, the encounter with Viktor Marchenko stands as a memorable and thought-provoking conclusion to Adam Jensen’s journey in this installment.

Leave a Comment