Viktor Marchenko is a particularly nasty boss in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. He’s built like a tank, and he’s a bullet sponge. No matter how many times you shoot him with a sniper rifle in the head, he comes back. But you have to take him down if you want to get to the ending of the game.
Editor’s note: Lots of spoilers here. Check out our Reviews Vault for past game reviews.
Before you get to Marchenko, you have to make a choice. You either rescue some people, or stop Marchenko from blowing up a couple of buildings. It’s a no-win situation. Either way, you have to take on the human tank, who seems to have something like a laser cannon ball built into his arm. (Here’s our tips and tricks for the full game).
I’ve recorded a few videos here that show how to take on Marchenko, who is an augmented human being who is trying to pin the blame for terrorist attacks on the Augmented Rights Coalition, or ARC. But Marchenko is really an extension of a shadow conspiracy that has other purposes, and ARC is merely its scapegoat.
I fought with Marchenko during two complete playthroughs of the game. The battleground is a huge open area of a skyscraper, with a couple of upper levels on either end. Those upper levels are roped off by laser-triggered mines, so you have to be careful moving around.
The key to fighting with Marchenko is mobility and hiding. If you can keep moving, you can escape his cannon and his drones. And if you use stealth, or using the augmentation that makes you disappear for a few seconds, you can shake off his pursuit. If you run out of energy to stay invisible, then you have to hide behind objects.
But there’s one particular solution that makes the battle much easier. Use the vents. This is hard to do on your first playthrough, as you won’t now where they are. But once you stumble upon them, you’ll find that Marchenko can’t follow you into them, and he can’t see where you are going. That means you can go in one entrance to a vent and then come out another exit and then sneak up on him. If you do this enough times, you can eventually take him out. But you have to beware of getting too close to him. And you should know there are multiple vents in the level, and each one of them will take you to something good.
In my first playthrough on the Xbox One, it took a long time to take him down because I went into the battle short on ammunition and short on Biocells, which give you the energy to use your augmentations in the battle. You need a lot of ammo, Biocells, and health restores if you want to battle Marchenko. On my second playthrough on Steam on the PC, it was much easier since I went into the battle fully loaded. Steam tells me that I put 44 hours into the second playthrough.
The challenge is that Marchenko isn’t fighting you all by himself. He’s got three flying drones and a big walking mech helping him out. You can take those out first, but then he is joined by a second set of flying drones and another walking mech. That’s enough of a load to drain a lot of your ammo. I used some armor-piercing sniper rounds on them, but that left me with fewer bullets to shoot at Marchenko. Your movement is restricted as well because there are lots of laser-triggered booby trap mines all over the place.
You’ll find that if you take out the auto turrets, you can make it to the center of the map. And if you do so, there’s a bunch of ammo there for you.
This video below is my first fight with Marchenko on my first playthrough. I found that I had to fight a coward’s fight, always sneaking around. I recorded 26 minutes of the fight, but it actually took much longer. I started this recording after I had run out of a lot of ammo and was forced to resort to the machine pistol. I only managed to take him out at the end using my last Typhoon attack. This video takes too long, for sure, but it gives you a good idea of the cat-and-mouse game that eventually enables you to take down Marchenko.
Here’s a video that shows how easy it is to get killed by Marchenko. I got caught trying to get back into the elevated vent.
I managed to take enough sniper shots at his head to loosen him up. And finally took him out here with the good old Typhoon augmentation, which causes a whirlwind explosion.
And this one is a much cleaner kill, with a few rounds of practice behind me. Marchenko was easy to take out, using the sniper rifle and the Typhoon.