Top Gear Thursday: The Game’s on for Richard Hammond

Firestorm of fun.

How many television shows arrive with free, online computer games? Downton Abbey? Rock Center? Mad Men? If you’re looking for a game filled with totally destructive awesomeness, adorned by inflammable conflagrations, garnished with stupendous explosions and topped off with all-around mayhem – and who isn’t? – then you need look no further than Striker Inferno, the game created by BBC America in celebration of Richard Hammond’s Crash Course (premiering Monday, April 16, 10p/9c).

In the game, you control a Striker 4500, a front-line fire fighting truck, on an airfield being bombarded by huge projectiles that look like meteors, which ignite firestorms that engulf your surroundings. (Note: Richard learns to drive a Striker in the series, and that inspired the game.) You spray water at the blazes, and, as you put them out, you are rewarded with sneak peeks at video clips from Richard Hammond’s Crash Course. We say you get to see the clips, and we mean *you* – because when we played the game, we quickly lost to the fire. This is how things ended up for us:

A screen grab of 'Striker Inferno'. The red areas are the fireballs we failed to extinguish.

It’s pretty cool how the projectiles and flames end up all over the screen window and aren’t just limited to the game area. We also love the pounding, pulsating music.

• Richard Hammond’s Crash Course premieres immediately after another premiere – the first episode of the all-new 18th season of Top Gear. Crash Course is at 10p/9c on April 16th, while Top Gear airs at 8p/7c.

Here’s the Top Gear: Season 18 Launch Trailer:

• Crash Course may at first appear to be about enormous vehicles and even more enormous amounts of mayhem, but Richard Hammond tells Men’s Journal that his new show is “as much about the people doing the jobs as it is about the machines that are used to do the jobs.” Whether it’s an Abrams tank or a 100-ton landfill scraper, they’re machines with important functions, and Hammond says  “everybody likes to talk about what they do, and sometimes it does you good to break it down and think about it.”

Men’s Journal also asked whether, as a car expert, Hammond had any advice for the military on improving the Abrams M1A1 tank. The Hamster pointed out that he’s a civilian, so he’s limit his suggestions to the interior.

“I’d put less sharp corners inside it. I think I’d put some leather in there, a bit of sued,” he said. “And there was no cup holder in the driver’s area.”

Read the full Q&A here.

• Speaking of Abrams tanks, you can get a sneak peek of some photos from the first episode of Crash course, which features said tank, by clicking here. Or just turn your eyeballs downward to see a sampling.

Richard Hammond and what army?

'I'm sure I parked it around here somewhere.'

• Top Gear Live was in Denmark over the weekend. It was the event’s first-ever visit to the country. Here’s some video of an auto flambé from the Forum in Copenhagen: