Major video game leaks happen all the time. I can't remember the last time Ubisoft was the first to unveil an Assassin's Creed game, or when a significant chunk of the big reveals from any year's E3 weren't spilled beforehand. As such, leaks about Red Dead Redemption 2 are absolutely possible, but red (hah) flags are still raised by the prospect.
TrustedReviews has allegedly gotten hold of some privileged inside information which none of us should know about. However considering that several days ago Rockstar stated (alongside announcing the delay) that new info would be revealed in coming weeks, it isn't beyond the realm of possibility that some publications and industry professionals already have the inside scoop on what's up, but were told not to blabber... and maybe some did.
Either way, TrustedReviews have some fairly solid looking evidence in the form of screenshots that haven't been pulled from trailers or released by Rockstar, but it does seem that they've peppered the legit leaked info with some embellished extra information that isn't quite as true as the rest of it. Sifting through what's true and what isn't is impossible, but we are fairly certain that at least some of the leaked info is true.
Details about both the singleplayer campaign and Red Dead Online are included.
In terms of singleplayer, the leak also contained story details and spoilers, however the folks over at TrustedReviews decided not to spoil these, which on the one hand is understandable, but on this other comes off as iffy with regards to legitimacy. If you have such a motherload of info, just put the sensitive stuff behind a spoiler tag - that's what everyone else always does.
Allegedly, the site received the documents in August 2017, which would go against the above theory of an embargoed pre-press release, but who knows. Official info released since lines up with the info in the documents, which is why TrustedReviews concluded it's legit and decided to spill the beans now.
Some of the info on game mechanics is hardly surprising. There will be a day/night cycle dictating NPC movement patterns, as well as gambling minigames, stores, and a black market analog for purchasing less than legal equipment. Some specific location names have been revealed - Armadillo will make a return, and players will also be able to visit Ridgewood.
There will be a wider selection of vehicles in the game, including minecarts, horse carriages and handcarts. Stats, including speed and armor, varies between types, however what level of customization to expect is still unknown. Trains will be used to travel across the world at a quicker pace, and players will remain fully mobile when on a train, which will be populated with NPCs for the sake of realism.
Like in any good open world sandbox game, Red Dead Redemption 2 will feature a bunch of secondary optional activities and quests scattered around the map, falling into various categories.
Fishing will be present as a playable minigame, with an attached skill, and the riding skill can be upgraded by completing riding challenges. Crafting is also seemingly confirmed for the game, though we would have guessed that without a leak. Known crafting materials mentioned in the documents include "Clamshell, Ghost, Night Scented, Rat Tail and Spider Orchids", presuming Ghost is the name of a plant, and doesn't refer to ectoplasm.
Copying Grand Theft Auto 5's Enhanced Edition, Red Dead Redemption 2 will allow players to pick between first and third person camera, both in single player and in Red Dead Online. Also like in GTA 5, animations will differ between the two, being adapted to the camera mode in question. It's likely that the same is true for models and textures.
It shouldn't surprise anyone that the Deadeye mechanic is back, however this time it has expanded functionality. Think something along the lines of Witcher Senses from Assassins of Kings and The Wild Hunt, or pre-Origins Eagle Vision from Assassin's Creed. It will help you detect clues, animals, fish, and track targets. Just like in the previous game and in GTA 5, traipsing around the open world will occasionally trigger random events, including scavenger and treasure hunts or bounties. Red Dead Redemption's Mysterious Stranger character will also make a return to be as enigmatic as always.
One surprising detail described by the apparent leak points at a slightly RPG-esque element of the game, namely that the single-player story will involve some branching elements and choices, changing the course of the campaign. Certain player decisions and general player behavior will alter events and scenes. Most Rockstar titles in the past were entirely linear, offering a single choice at the very end of the game at most.
Like in Red Dead Redemption and the GTA franchise, a wanted system will be implemented. Though the documents don't detail the full mechanic, we hope it will be more along the lines of the witness system from Red Dead Redemption, and less like the omniscient demigod teminator superpolice from GTA 5. Having a good 'ole fistfight with the folks won't bring lawmen down upon you, but murdering everyone in a saloon most certainly will. Allegedly, the game has dynamic enemy damage states, meaning if they are disabled without being killed, the player can force them to provide money or information.
As for Red Dead Online, the documents have some info about the multiplayer mode as well. It will offer several game modes beyond the usual "freemode", similar to how the Adversary Modes of GTA Online work. On launch, these will include something along the lines of Battle Royale (we knew Rockstar wouldn't resist jumping on the trend) and two others called "Money Grab and "Revive and Survive". The former is a riff on CTF, while the latter is a TDM mode with the added mechanic of reviving downed teammates before they bleed out.
Ambient animations and the realism factor of the open world is said to be much more advanced than in the past. NPC AI will be more complex, and there will be greater detail, such as store owners packing up when closing for the night, or NPCs decorating their houses occasionally. There will also be ambient tasks and awards given periodically, such as reaching a travel milestone or killing enemies at long range.
GTA Online's property system will return and players will be able to buy tents, among other properties. Only the tents were mentioned by the documents, but anyone seriously thinking that's all that will be available is nuts. Tents will be customizable, and multiple types and styles will be available for purchase. In game activities like Freemode Events from GTA Online will make a comeback, and quest givers and shops will operate like in single player.
The documents also speak of a companion smart phone application which will be released alongside Red Dead Redemption 2. GTA 5 had one of these, as do many AAA releases these days, so this isn't special or unexpected - which also makes it easy to believe. GTA 5's allowed players to change their license plates, for example, but it is unclear what Red Dead Redemption 2's companion app will do.
This is the extent of the information posted by TrustedReviews. It's unclear how much of this is true and how much was added just for kicks, but we're pretty sure Rockstar will let us know just how accurate it all is in the coming weeks.