If you’ve ever wanted a faster, more efficient way of exploring the world of some of your favorite games, there’s a website for that now.
Noclip.website is a model viewer for the iconic locations of some of the most popular games out there, created by Jasper St. Pierre as an open-source Github project. You of course can’t play any of the games on the site, but if you’re the kind of person who likes to spend hours pouring over some of your favorite video game locales, it’s probably the best, simplest way to do that right now. The models are identical to their in-game ones (though the lighting is different on a few of them), and you can hop around different locations pretty quickly. While in-game characters are missing in some scenes, the ones who are there animate, making this more than a simple still-shot of these locations.
The site also lets you move around in 3D by using the WASD keys and holding your mouse button down, and you can alter the speed of the camera to suit your needs. This lets you get a look at places like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker’s Outset Island in detail, or get an at-a-glance view of all of Dark Souls’ Lordran. You can also create, modify, and load save states on the site (so you don’t lose your place if you happen to be using the locations for reference on, say, a piece of fan art), or change the field of view. The site does require some computer resources to use and will run better on more powerful hardware, but I was able run it just fine on a laptop, though the framerate was lower.
Most the areas you can explore come from major Nintendo games (specifically from the Gamecube era through the 3DS era), but there are few non-Nintendo products in there as well. Some more modern titles, such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, are also part of the site’s “experimental” tab, which means they’re still a work in progress. Either way, this is an outstanding project from St. Pierre, and we hope to see more locations added soon.