Deus Ex: Human Revolution has bosses in it, and that's a big surprise in Eidos Montreal's latest release. For a game that makes a big deal of how open-ended its quest solutions are and how much of an emphasis the game puts on stealth, the bosses stand in contrast as relatively straightforward "kill enemy with weapon damage" scenarios.
While that's fine for players who decide to coast through the game with their guns out in the open and blazing, those who prefer a stealthier approach will suddenly find themselves in a tough spot when forced into a one-on-one confrontation with the toughest of the game's Bad Guys. Lucky for you, I made sure to take extensive notes during my playthrough of the game last week and I've got some tips to share with those who need some help getting through these showdowns.
If you're still on the fence about picking this game up, read our Deus Ex review to help convince yourself. I'll try my best to keep any discussion of the story out of this guide on how to beat the bosses, but needless to say you can expect to find a few spoilers ahead. You have been warned.
We've also been busy providing guides for the entire game, so make sure you also check out:
- Augmentations Guide: The Best Upgrades For Stealth, Combat, and Hacking
- Stealth Walkthrough: How To Get Ghost and Smooth Operator Experience Points
- How To Save Malik: Your Guide To Keeping Her Alive
Barrett may well be the toughest boss you face in the game, largely because he comes in early enough that you might not have the right Augments in place for taking him on. The half-mechanical mercenary is essentially a walking tank, in that he slowly plods around the small room you're stuck in with him, firing a large, nasty gun at you whenever you give him the opportunity.
The key in this fight is to never give Barrett that opportunity. He's a slow-moving fellow, probably because he thinks that gun keeps him safe. Use that to your advantage. The small room you're trapped in is squarish, with a pair of small rooms jutting off from it in diagonally opposite corners. These rooms contain a few health and weapons/ammo picksup. More importantly though, they offer cover.
Basically, your plan should be to keep moving between those two rooms, taking shots at Barrett as he approaches. He'll eventually attempt to flush you out with a grenade when he gets close enough, at which point you should move to the other room. You'll take a little damage on the way, so just make sure you keep your head down until it's recovered. Even if that means you only get a few shots in before you have to move again.
Grenades, particularly EMP grenades, can make this fight immeasurably easier. Chuck the highest explosive you've got at Barret and unload on him. He movement pattern never deviates from "follow Jensen, shoot Jensen," so use that to your advantage and you should win this fight fairly quickly.
Yelena is a tough cooke at first, until you figure out how to handle her. Unlike the rest of the game's bosses, you never actually need to pour all of your ammo into her. This fight is more about using the bosses own attacks against her; learn the pattern and you'll master this fight pretty quickly.
Yelena is light on her feet and favors melee attacks, offering a polar opposite to Barrett's slow advance and ceaseless gunfire. She's also got stealth capabilities, meaning you're not going to see her when she's not in your face and trying to kill you.
Before we go further, there are a few Augments that can make this fight considerably easier. The first is the vision upgrade that allows you to see things such as invisible enemies with a press of the D-pad. It consumes energy, but you'll never want to use your melee attacks on Yelena -- she just deflects them and damages you in the process -- so energy isn't much of a concern in this fight.
There's also an upgrade branching off from the second level of dermal armor that makes you immune to electricity damage. Most stealth players won't follow the dermal armor Augment path, but that particular upgrade is useful not just for Yelena, but for a later boss as well. Strongly consider grabbing it.
So, the strategy. You duke it out with Yelena in a large, circular room ringed with walls that create an outer circle and a central inner circle. You'll want to stick to the outside throughout, as this is where you'll be dealing out damage.
Yelena has two attack modes: the first, which you'll see right off the bat, involves her rushing in close and hit you with a fairly devastating melee strike. She then alternates to a slow, invisible walk around the room as she recharges; fire on her or get too close to her and she'll respond with return fire from her guns. If you listen carefully to [character name redacted] over the room's speaker system, you'll be able to tell when Yelena is recharging and when she's coming at you.
Yelena's rush attack mode is what you want. Her melee strike can be outrun, thankfully, but the trick is to get her to do it in the right place. Scattered around the room's outside walls are four large power stations. To take down Yelena, you need to get her to perform her melee strike right in front of each of these, until they all blow.
There's a catch though. Each time station explodes, electricity arcs across the floor for several seconds. Long enough to kill Jensen if he just stands still. The dermal armor Augment removes this issue from the equation; if you haven't unlocked it, your best bet is to jump around to minimize the damage and then use some sort of health-restoring consumable when it's done.
Rinse and repeat this process to take down Yelena quickly.
Screw this guy. Seriously. Jaron Jamir is Human Revolution's toughest boss by far if you don't go in prepared, as I learned the hard way. First and most importantly -- this also qualifies as a spoiler alert -- make sure you don't get the free LIMB chip upgrade operation before taking on this mission. You'll have the opportunity to get it on your second trip to China if you happen to stop by the LIMB Clinic. Don't do it.
You don't want that chip because it doesn't actually do anything useful. It's quite the opposite, in fact. If you go into this fight with the "upgraded chip," all of your Augments will be switched off right before it starts. If you thought fighting Barrett in the early game was tough, try taking on the much quicker Namir, who spends most of his time invisible and stalking you, with zero Augments.
Fortunately, you can learn from my mistake and skip the chip. Namir is still no cakewalk, but having your Augments handy is a big help. Much like the Yelena fight, the small-ish, rectangular room you fight Namir in is split into two areas, with an outer corridor separated from the center of the room by a series of walls. Unlike Yelena, you need to shoot Namir with everything you've got to bring him down.
His movement pattern is similar to Yelena's, in that he's either visible and shooting at you from a single location or he's wandering around, stalking you and recharging. Just like Yelena too, if you fire on him when he's in this recharging state, he'll fight back.
With or without Augments, the strategy for bringing down Namir is the same. Stick to the room's outer area and keep moving, somewhat carefully, in a circle around the space until you spot the boss.
If he's in his recharge mode, fire on him until he starts chucking grenades, at which point you should turn around and reverse your advance around the room while you heal. Just keep repeating this, hitting Namir with the heaviest weapons that you've got whenever you can, and he should go down quickly.
If you want a little extra help, the elevator you take to get to this room is situated near the mission's original start point. If you were careful in your advance in the early part of the mission, you might have hacked an enemy turret out there.
If you did, bring it into the elevator and down to the boss fight room. Make sure you carry it with you as you step out; it should still be there, right in front of the elevator, after the cutscene plays. That's as good a spot as any for it, though you may prefer to move it into one of the room's corners.
Wherever the turret goes, it'll probably be taken out eventually by an errant grenade. If you're lucky though, it might get a few good shots in on Namir before that happens.
Zhao Yun Ru
Here's she is. The big cheese. This fight is for all of the marbles, your last-ditch effort to save humanity from a fate that I won't be spoiling here.
The Zhao fight unfolds in a large, round room with a large machine at its center. Zhao is off in an alcove carved into one of the rooms walls. She's hooked into a large machine and protected by a sheet of bulletproof glass which needs to go away before you can shoot the crap out of her. The machine in the center of the room is also protected, with a group of un-hackable, invulnerable sentry turrets slowly rotating around it on a track.
There are two ways to get started on bringing Zhao down. Your first option is to hack the four computer panels situated around outer ring of the room. They're hard to miss. Note, however, that they're very difficult to hack once the machine gun turret fire cuts through the glass in front of them -- you're knocked out of the hacking minigame whenever you sustain damage -- so you'll need to act quickly at each location, and will probably exhaust all of your Nuke viruses in the process. Don't worry, you won't ever need them again.
Once all four computers are hacked, you'll see the machine in the center of the room has opened up at four points, with a blindfolded person strapped into it at each of those points. Shoot the each of the four strapped-in people until the lights in that part of the machine go out to advance to the next stage of the boss fight.
Alternatively, you can start off the fight by running straight down to that central machine. There are four buttons on it; hitting them makes each blindfolded person appear for a few seconds, time you can use to shoot them up. There's a better method, however. There's a small, black console panel on the machine that you can safely hack without fear of the turrets. Hacking it and deactivating life support has the same effect as shooting up the blindfolded people.
The second part of the fight is all about survival. Remember how I told you the electricity immunity Augment would come in handy during a future boss fight? This is it.
Once life support is down, a gang of crazed, melee-only enemies will enter the room, along with a single robot drone. Parts of the room will also now be temporarily electrified, causing damage if you happen to be caught there (without the Augment) when it flares up. This can also be helpful, as enemies will also receive damage.
The idea here is simply to survive while some dialogue plays out. It takes a couple of minutes, during which time you'll have to avoid the enemy arrivals and the, if you're missing the necessary Augment, the electricity. Eventually, the explosions rocking the room will shatter the bulletproof glass, at which point you can safely shoot Zhao -- the other enemies are probably dead or incapacitated by now -- until the game fades out to a cutscene.