Early on in Returnal, you’ll see vines covering a small area of the map, often with a useful item behind. How do you get past those vines?
Often, you’ll notice the icon for a health pick-up or something else equally useful on the map. So you head there, only to find that the item is out of reach, blocked by vines. It can be frustrating, but the good news is that eventually, vines are very easy to get through. You just need one permanent upgrade before you can do it.
Once you’ve defeated the first boss, you’ll be given a melee weapon. A long blade, it has multiple uses, including dealing heavy damage to enemies when you’re up close and personal. And, helpfully, it can also be used to slash through vines.
The good news is that the melee weapon is a permanent upgrade, so once you’ve defeated the boss, it’s yours forever, no matter how many times you die. You never have to face that first boss again. And with the melee weapon in your inventory, simply press square to swing it. It’ll destroy any green vines in its path with ease, allowing you to gain access to the goods behind.