The release of Red Dead Redemption 2 is still months away however recently posted images prove that retailers have already begun receiving promotional material for the upcoming title. So far, all we know is that the game will be launching on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and that it will arrive sometime during Autumn 2017. That's not a whole lot to go on, but it doesn't mean we cannot discuss the game or speculate - after all, what's the fun in just sitting on our hands until any new official info is revealed?
While the plot of the game's predecessor, Red Dead Redemption, as well as the released promotional art for RDR2 both suggest the title will be a prequel, this detail has not yet been confirmed. A recent leak seemingly supports this possibility, while also indicating that the game will inherit GTA 5's multiple protagonist set-up. While the leak comes from a source who proved reliable in the past, it must be handled with skepticism nonetheless!
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Another aspect of the game that has been a subject of leaks, well before any kind of official announcement was released, is the map. Red Dead Redemption took place in a fictionalised version of a USA border state, most likely New Mexico with a bit of Texas mixed in, as well as a slice of Mexico's northernmost section. It is unknown whether Red Dead Redemption 2 will revisit these areas, take us to new lands entirely, or be a mix of the two.
The leaked/fake map, which doesn't have the backing of a reputable leaker and is therefore extremely suspect, depicts an area with a bit of overlap with the previous map. West Elizabeth, the Great Plains and notable Blackwater comprised the Northeastern portion of RDR's map. The supposed leaked map for Red Dead Redemption 2 also depicts these locales, but at the southwestern corner, placing the rest of the map to the northeast of RDR's, meaning it would be more of an analogy for Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama, a theory further supported by the swampy nature of the leaked map.
However, there is one main reason why this isn't particularly believable - this area does not fit into the Wild West theme of the game, which, based on the trailer, is central to Red Dead Redemption 2's style. Another reason why this leaked map is almost surely a fake comes from RDR2's official announcement, which states that the game will take place in America's "Unforgiving Heartland". It should also be noted that the leaked map has a city called "New Bordeaux" as an analogy for New Orleans. Incidentally, New Bordeaux was the city in Mafia 3, making this all the more suspect.
This suggests that the map of the upcoming title will be located north, or northwest of Red Dead Redemption's locale, in a fictional version of the midwest. This is an area no Rockstar title has explored before. So in spite of it being confirmed that it and GTA take place in the same fictional universe, don't expect any crossovers with cities we've seen before.
Where do you expect Red Dead Redemption 2 will take place?