It's only appropriate that a major leak in the games industry would come from an anonymous source with a pseudonym like “crazy buttocks on a train” (CBOAT), a NeoGAF user who recently posted images (opens in new tab) of Left 4 Dead 2's Plantation level (the final chapter of the Swamp fever campaign) allegedly rendered in Valve's Source 2.0 engine.
The most compelling evidence here are the images themselves: six and a half Power Point slides out of 20, with a good look at the Plantation manor from the outside. You'll notice immediately that the game, real or not, looks far better than anything the Source engine as we know it is capable of—the lighting, level of detail, and amount of assets in the frame (most noticeable in the vegetation).
Four of the slides previewed on the left show the stark difference between the level as it appears in Source and as it is “rendered in Source 2.0.”
The final half slide references “Redesigned Tools & Workflow,” followed by more technical details.
Valve Time has also obtained an image of The Plantation separate from the slides.(opens in new tab)
As far as rumors go, this one sounds pretty believable. If it's not, I am in awe of the effort someone went through to fake the information.
CBOAT, it seems, has quite a reputation. He's known mostly for his predictions about Microsoft's Xbox One, some of which were wrong, some of which were kind of right. He predicted, for example, that the native resolution on some Xbox One games will be lower than it is on PlayStation 4, Dead Rising 3, and other, mostly Microsoft related information. Not all of it exactly accurate, but close enough that he can't be dismissed entirely.
Here's what we do know for sure: Gabe Newell has confirmed that Valve will grace us with a newer version of the Source engine at some point and that it's “waiting for a game to roll it out with.” He didn't say what game, or when. Valve is not super into the “when” question, in case you haven't noticed.
However, another recent leak supports the theory that the new Source engine and Left 4 Dead are linked, somehow, at least more than other Valve properties. In August 2013, a photo of an internal Valve changelog list referenced "L4D3" as well as "Source2," indicating that the game will use Valve's new engine.
We have reached out to Valve for comment. This is the internet, after all, and there's every possibility the leak is entirely fake.