Sam B is the tank character in this game, so he is big, brutish, and durable compared to the other three characters. While the others can be more fun to play in a lot of cases, no one is as consistent and reliable as Sam B. He will stay alive against all odds, unless you let go of the controls and get killed intentionally. With that said, the proper character build is essential to bringing the best out of this potentially powerful character in Dead Island.
When the phrase “proper character build” is mentioned, it mostly means that it’s what will make that character handle best in the game. The proper character build for Sam B is focusing on his crowd control and survivability. Of course, this is also dependent on what you want to play your character with. If you plan to play cooperative multiplayer with friends, then you have to focus on your survival skills more. If it’s just a singleplayer run and nothing else, then you can focus more on combat skills. If you’re really crazy and want to play around for kicks, then you can fill up the fury skills.
But if you want a properly good Sam B, then you should have a balance between combat and survival skills. There isn’t much use for the fury skills as you can still become quite powerful with the other two trees and present a good amount of utility and versatility with this character. With both the combat and survival skill trees, the goal is to get both Earthshaker and Rebirth. That goal is already a given in that you need to get the best of both offense and defense. What you need to think of now is to pick out the skills in between that will give you the most advantage in whatever game mode you’re in, either it’s singleplayer or co-op.
There is a bit of a difference between builds for singleplayer and co-op use. The most telling difference is the need for Decoy, which is a survival skill that makes you a more threatening target to zombies. This is one of the most useful skills for co-op since you’ll draw the zombies away from your other teammates and absorb most of the damage while they help you kill them off, which you can do anyway since Sam B has a good amount of HP. In singleplayer alone, this may not be the best skill to take since you’d want to use some measure of stealth when playing alone, not to mention that getting into combat unintentionally can be a bit annoying.
Tackle is what makes Sam B the best melee character in the game. Not taking anything away from Xian Mei, but the ability to knock down enemies with a charge to initiate fights is a damn good ability, to say the least. The usefulness of this skill isn’t as prominent in singleplayer though since it would be more appropriate to take enemies out as quickly as possible, but it’s still nice to know that you can just sprint past zombies and run for safety if you need to. Also, it’s fun to be a mack truck.
The best weapon for Sam B is usually brass knuckles. While it helps to have other weapons at hand to give more range, the sheer attack speed is enough to make it your staple. With that said, that’s where Motivation is a necessity since you’ll find yourself tire out very quickly when you just click away in reckless abandon. As for skills involving weapon types, you’ll have to make up your mind whether you use modded weapons, one-handed blunt weapons, and two-handed blunt weapons. You may want to get the modded skills though since you’ll be using modded weapons more or less, regardless of one-handed or two-handedness.
So you get all blunt weapon masteries, tackle, and whatever damage enhancements you can make use of. As for survival skills, you should get all health regeneration skills. But as for those in between, you’ll have to get some specific things that will help you with weapons. Deeper Pockets will ensure that you won’t run out of inventory space right away, therefore you can carry more weapons and last longer out there with the zombies. You might then want to get Maintenance once you’re reached level 50 since there wouldn’t by anything else good to get by then.
This is a rough outline for Sam B. You may take skills as you see fit, but this order seems to work quite nicely. The main idea is to not die as much as possible, especially during the early levels. At later levels, you’d be so strong that no one can really stop you at that point.