I’ve lost count of the number of games I’ve stopped playing because the characters blather on inanely all the time. Critical darlings like God of War, games which on paper have a bunch of things I enjoy like Red Dead 2, even games I was actually enjoying like Horizon: Terrible Name. I was having fun in that game, wandering about, fighting robots and shit, but Aloy never shuts the fuck up and they didn’t even have the decency to give her someone to wander about with to justify it. She’s a character that I felt quite invested in, until her tedious habit of describing what’s happening on the fucking screen I’m looking at like she’s a 5 year old made me hate her.
I think a major issue is pacing. Pacing is an incredibly important tool in all narrative forms and in games the writer essentially has no control over it. You can feel them kind of trying to wrestle it back with cutscenes and endless walking sections where people talk, but the overall pacing of the game is out of the writers hands. Rockstar games have (as I’m pretty sure I read someone on here say) a very bizarre structure where they have a basic three act structure but the first act lasts about an hour, the third act lasts about an hour and the second act lasts about forty hours. You’re in this weird limbo where often the parts you have least control over are the ones where the most interesting stuff is happening, and the majority of your actual play time lives in a kind of meandering filler part in between.
This also impacts events in game. Lots of movies rely too heavily on a character happening to turn up when something important is happening, but I think in games it’s more noticeable. When you’re in control of how long it takes to get somewhere, and it could be ten seconds or two minutes or you could put your controller down and go answer the door then pick it up five minutes later and still happen to arrive at the exact moment you need to the artifice is just slightly more palpable. Games are filled with a million little moments like this, which you might not notice in isolation but add up to make gaming’s reliance on movie cliches feel emptier than they did in their inspiration.
Then as @Scribblor says you seem to have numerous studios hiring great writers and then ignoring them, or cutting the stuff that makes their writing work because it’s not exciting enough, or saddling them with a terminally boring overarching plot that they’re fighting against to tell a good story. So many games commit the cardinal sins of bad writing, where they’re presenting us with characters that we’ve never been given a reason to care about and their next bit of narrative hinges on exactly that. Or they’re having people show up out of nowhere to Deus ex machina the plot along without laying the groundwork of who that character is or why they can do what they do.
I don’t think the writers are generally to blame, but what we end up with is a world where even the sacred cows are pretty average when compared to almost any other form of authored storytelling. The two last of us games are the only story based games I can think of that could stand up against good movies and tv, and even though they’re doing more than most games they’re still containing the majority of that narrative in non interactive cutscenes.
Ultimately, my favourite game stories are the ones that couldn’t be told in any other way, like the aforementioned Portal games, or the games where the stories are mine and they’re created by my actions and told by me. I’ve thought in the past that maybe games aren’t a great storytelling medium, but I’ve come around to thinking that they’re really just hamstrung by a slavish desperation to imitate movies and a profound lack of respect for the art of writing.