Back in 2016, we didn't know much about Red Dead Redemption 2. It was common knowledge that a sequel was in the works, but very few details were known about the title.
However, an image of the Red Dead Redemption 2 map was leaked on NeoGaf and TechRadar was able to confirm the leak's legitimacy via our own independent source.
So now that the highly-anticipated title has officially launched, and we know what the final map looks like, we thought it would be a good chance to compare the originally leaked map with the one presented in the game.
Comparing the maps
If you look at the bottom left of the leaked map, you'll see the Great Plains, home to the Blackwater settlement that sits at the top right of the Red Dead Redemption map. This, alongside the lack of a railroad in the Great Plains featured in the prequel and the scattered caravan camps across the map, suggested at the time that the sequel would take place prior to the events of Red Dead Redemption - and we were right.
The original map also included the city of New Bordeaux - bottom right. However - as you can see in the official map below (you can see the full, high-resolution image at PowerPyx) - the city's name was changed to Saint Denis when Rockstar found out that Take-Two had also used the name in Mafia 3.
According to Kotaku, this meant a heap of extra work as voice-overs had to be re-recorded, cinematics reanimated, while changes also had to be made to the artwork and interface.
However, the inclusion of New Bordeaux in the original leaked map suggested there would be swampy, New Orleans-eque areas in Red Dead 2 - again, we were right. The sequel includes various swamp and marshlands inhabited by alligators.
We now know the official Red Dead Redemption 2 map includes areas from the prequel as well as new areas - providing plenty of space to explore. The five districts in the official Red Dead Redemption 2 map are: Ambarino, New Hanover, Lemoyne, West Elizabeth, New Austin. While all areas North of Mexico in the original game are included, such as Armadillo, Tumbleweed and Fort Mercer (which wasn't shown in the original leak).
Red Dead ruckus
Red Dead Redemption 2's map has definitely come a long way since the leaked image we spotted back in 2016, providing a more versatile and luscious landscape than we could ever have imagined, ripe to be filled with legions of spawned horses from Red Dead Redemption 2 cheats.
So it's no surprise reviewers are loving Red Dead Redemption 2, claiming it could well be the game of the year. But if you're looking for a few more opinions then check out our review roundup.
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Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.