Gearbox Software had a hardcore challenge for Borderlands 2 players at PAX Prime, a four-player co-op time attack against a new boss, the pumpkin demon Jacques O'Lantern. He's part of the upcoming T.K. Baha's Bloody Harvest downloadable content and, as we discovered at PAX today, an impressive (though not insurmountable) challenge.
As of today, the fastest speed run against Jacques O'Lantern was around two minutes and thirty seconds. When my team — a Gunzerker, Siren, Assassin and Mechromancer — fought Jacques, it took us about seven minutes.... for Gearbox developers to recognize that we had zero chance of defeating him.
Yes, after seven minutes of unloading thousands of rounds and dozens of grenades at Jacques, his health bar was at 100 percent.
Here's why: In addition to being incredibly resilient and powerful, Jacques has a series of attacks that do serious damage to players. He also has a seemingly endless supply of minions, Pumplings, that not only harass players as they're trying to focus on Jacques, they'll also climb on his back to restore him to full health.
Jacques has a ground pound that does serious knockback damage. He can also fire a spread of pumpkin-shaped time bombs that slow a player's movement and he's also able to breathe a huge column of fire. The one concession in the players' favor is the candy that Pumplings drop when killed. Candy provides players with a buff — just one can be used at a time — that may help firepower, health, shields or some other random attribute.
If you do manage to defeat Jacques O'Lantern, you'll get his head as a wearable reward for your character.
So, yes, Jacques is a tough pumpkin, and one of the highlights of Gearbox's new Halloween-themed DLC, the first of three "Headhunter Packs" for Borderlands 2. T.K. Baha's Bloody Harvest is due to hit PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC this October.