Grand Theft Auto Online has been live for less than a week, but most of us have already enjoyed our own unique experiences.

For example, just yesterday we were out on a scenic drive somewhere off the beaten track when we found ourselves in the crossfire of a violent gang rivalry. The police were soon on our tail in hot pursuit, but using our smarts we sent the lot of them toppling over the side of a bridge, culminating in a huge fireball explosion. Then we got home and found GTA Online STILL wasn't working.

Yes, the Online launch has been less than sturdy, with server problems plaguing for the first few days. But calm your angry selves – Rockstar did warn us that this was going to happen.

Dirt bike
This is way too civilised for GTA Online

When we finally got into a working game – and past that slightly tedious tutorial – it was time to go exploring the impressively faithful online version of San Andreas. But wait. Where are the planes in the airport? They're around here somewhere, right? Guys, this isn't funny.

Thanks to CVG's essential tips for Grand Theft Auto Online, we were soon able to stop hyperventilating and realise that Rockstar hadn't culled all means of air travel (just the planes from the airport). In fact, there are a lot of cool things you might not know about GTA Online that you really should, so check out this handy video.

We delve into the tech of Watch Dogs and Forza 5

Once we'd manage to tear ourselves away from that, we went and spent a bit of time with the teams behind some next-gen heavyweights. First, we sat down with Watch Dogs creative director Jonathan Morin, who told us that he believes the game is a technology "wake up call".

Forza 5
Vroom to the mothertrucking vroom

Then we chatted to Dan Greenawalt, Forza 5's creative director, who explained how Forza 5 had to change in response to the Xbox One's always-on U-turn, and how Microsoft has the 'robot' advantage when it comes to making games.

Don't know what that means? Go and find out right now – it's vital that you do.

Call of juice time

A couple of members of the TechRadar team (naming no names) popped along to an Activation gaming event this week. While the details were vague, we were hoping for some quality hands on time with Call of Duty: Ghosts, perhaps some new exclusive insight into the Bungie-developed epic Destiny.

So imagine our faces when we arrived to discover it was, in fact, Activision's Christmas gift guide for kids. There's only one thing you can do in a situation like this: style it out. So we assumed our game faces and sat down for a round of Spongebob Squarepants: Plankton's Robotic Revenge.

Now, we consider ourselves to be seasoned gamers at TechRadar, but when you can't finish mission one in Bikini Bottom before an eight year old takes over and nonchalantly smashes it on the first attempt, it's time to get out of there with any remaining self-respect you have left. So that's exactly what we did.

Learn the alphabet with Pokémon

Those pocket rascals have returned for Pokémon X and Y, and we'll admit that even after 17 years a new Pokémon adventure still gets us a bit excited (Ok, it gets Hugh excited. He speaks for none of the "cooler" members of the team who would rather stay out of this).

Go and read the review from CVG to see if the fifth generation of Pokémon is as strong as ever.

Dear Gabe, under the Christmas tree we want...

Ok, yes, Half-Life 3, we're getting to it. So Valve trademarked the Half-Life 3 name on September 29. Everyone was quick to speculate that this was confirmation of the game's existence. But then it could also have been nothing more than Valve showing it has some interest in protecting the name.