Well. Earlier this week, there was a comical NeoGAF thread in which a poster claimed to have obtained the map from Red Dead Redemption 2. As is ever the case on the prolific message board, drama ensued, and the image was eventually removed. It didn't smell like a fake to us, but given the distinct lack of information, we passed on posting it here.
Tech Radar, however, now claims to have independently verified with a "source close to the development of the new Red Dead game" that the leak is legit – meaning that you're very likely looking at the map from Rockstar San Diego's hotly anticipated sequel. The site also claims that the game will take place before the events of Redemption, and will be set to the north-east of the iconic PlayStation 3 adventure's open world.
If you blow up the leaked map, this is clear to see, as Blackwater (the northern most location in the original Red Dead Redemption) can be seen to the south-west of the new map. The lack of a railroad also seems to suggest that this entry will, indeed, be going back in time a touch. But what else can we learn from the leak?
Well, it seems like the world will be peppered with points of interest, including towns, caravan camps, and gang hideouts. Even more fascinating is the inclusion of a location called New Bordeaux, the same name as the fictional interpretation of New Orleans in the upcoming Mafia III. Coincidence? Could be, but it's worth remembering that 2K Games and Rockstar are both under the Take-Two umbrella.
If nothing else, the layout seems to suggest that there'll be swamp-like areas in this game, while the inclusion of islands also indicates that you'll be able to swim in this instalment – unlike its predecessor. This author predicted right at the start of the year that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be announced at E3. Could it happen? Fingers crossed.