The Order 1886's story will differentiate it from other action titles, according to game director Dana Jan.
Revealed at E3 2013, the PS4 exclusive is set in an alternate history that mixes Victorian-era London with relatively modern technologies and mythological monsters.
Based on early showings, its standout features are impressive visuals and Gears of War-like third-person cover shooting, but Ready at Dawn is aiming to surprise people with the story, which has been prioritised over gameplay and has been designed with sequels in mind.
As part of a newly published The Order 1886 interview, game director Jan told CVG he expects the title to "raise some eyebrows" when it launches next year.
"There are some things that people are going to be surprised by - things that you might not necessarily expect from an action game," he said.
"We love games, but we also love telling stories, so I think story is always going to be at the top because it's what we start with. It's at the top of the pyramid and everything else supports that. I think it'd be more challenging to make a game for the gameplay's sake, then try to make a story that fits in there."
Jan also said of potential plans to expand the universe beyond one game: "Our hope is always to create a story that's worth telling more of. I think that this is something that we set out to make with this game, not just something that would be a one-and-done flash in the pan.
"To put this much effort into these characters, the backstories, and everything that goes into this, we want there to be more of it and we think that was the driving force behind the richness that we put into the characters and their stories. There's so much there to explore, and should we get the blessing to have a second game we'd love to expand upon this universe and keep going."
CVG's newly published The Order 1886 preview concludes: "We saw an interesting gun and the ability to explore environments during predefined downtimes, but beyond that the demo showcased little more than the heavily Gears of War influenced cover-based shooting that we've seen in debut gameplay videos.
"Is Ready At Dawn holding back on us? Is it too early to be demanding bigger fireworks? Will it even matter? So impressive are the visuals of The Order 1886 that its technical prowess alone may justify dropping £50/$60. But we're really hoping that eye candy won't be its sole selling point."