Deus Ex: Human Revolution gives you three options for starting a new game, "Tell Me a Story", "Give Me a Challenge", and "Give Me Deus Ex":

Deus Ex Human Revolution New Game

The wording seems to imply that there's more difference than just tougher enemies (i.e. more/less emphasis on story), is there?

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    It is odd that "Give Me A Challenge" is described as "Deus Ex as it was meant to be played", and "Give Me Deus Ex" is described as being more challenging. – Jordaan Mylonas Aug 29 '11 at 0:38

No. "Tell me a story" does not mean that the story is enhanced. Rather, it means that the challenge is decreased, as if to say that the game is only interesting for its story and not its gameplay challenge if the player picks the reduced difficulty.

To be specific, harder difficulty decreases your health and regeneration rate, increases the enemy's health, regeneration rate and accuracy. It also affects the regeneration delay. (Source: GameFAQs)

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    To add on a bit to your answer, I think the name of the first two difficulties comes from the commonly-cited categorization of gamers into several types: challenge gamers, story gamers, and experience gamers. – jprete Aug 28 '11 at 22:31
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    Easy, Normal & Hard. ;) – CyberSkull Aug 29 '11 at 2:48
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    I suppose "realistic" was too much to hope for as an option. – Artless Aug 29 '11 at 3:11
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    @Artless - Give me Deus Ex removes the targeting recticle and the amber-glow of "interactable objects". It actually plays very differently, simply because it's so much more tedious to actually find the secrets. – Raven Dreamer Sep 13 '11 at 3:50
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    Can I play, daddy?, Bring 'em on, I am death incarnate ;) – Coomie Sep 14 '11 at 5:34

This is taken directly from the strategy guide. Note that the player health always shows up as 100 ingame regardless of the difficulty but it is more of a percentage. You get more (50% more in this case compared to the next difficulty) out of your 100 health (or 200 max with nutrients), ie take more damage before you die, on Tell Me a Story than harder difficulties.

Tell me a story

  • Player Health: 150%
  • Player Health Regen: 115%
  • Player Health Regen Delay: 75%
  • Energy Regen: 150%
  • Energy Regen Delay: 75%
  • Enemy Accuracy: 60%
  • Enemy Health: 75%

Give me a challenge

  • Player Health: 100%
  • Player Health Regen: 100% (4 pt/sec)
  • Player Health Regen Delay: 100% (6.5s)
  • Energy Regen: 100% (1 pt/sec)
  • Energy Regen Delay: 100% (10s)
  • Enemy Accuracy: 100% (per enemy)
  • Enemy Health: 100% (per enemy)

Give me Deus Ex

  • Player Health: 75%
  • Player Health Regen: 85%
  • Player Health Regen Delay: 115%
  • Energy Regen: 75%
  • Energy Regen Delay: 125%
  • Enemy Accuracy: 125%
  • Enemy Health: 125%

Starting a playthrough on Give me Deus Ex also disables object highlighting and the crosshairs, but these can be re-enabled in Options -> Gameplay.

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    ...accuracy 125%? Does that mean every bullet hits you and has a 25% chance to ricochet back into you? :b – Coomie Oct 3 '11 at 1:30
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    I think it's relative to the accuracy in Give me a Challenge. For example if an enemy lands 3 out of 5 shots in Give me a Challenge, then it should land 4 out of 5 shots in Give me Deus Ex, all other factors being equal. The percentages here are all relative. – deutschZuid Oct 3 '11 at 1:50
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    @Coomie as in similar games, accuracy would probably be before subtracting resistances. if you have 50% evade, and the enemy has 125% accuracy, then the enemy has a 75% chance of hitting you, for example. – Dave Cousineau Oct 25 '13 at 11:32

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