Posted by GnomeTank
on 13 December 2012 - 12:48 PM
I've used them both quite extensively, and they are both capable tools. I would say that for a true 3D game, wanting to use the most modern rendering techniques, Ogre is probably a better choice. It has a much more flexible material system, and supports deferred rendering out of the box (as of Ogre 1.8). Some people dislike the use of singletons or it's reliance on a scene graph, but those are minor quibbles when you're trying to make a game. It's not a religion, it's an engine.
Irrlicht is a slightly different beast. It's much less feature rich, but it's very tight, and it provides some higher level functionality that Ogre does not (though Ogre CAN provide that functionality, it just requires coding from the developer). This is mostly in the 2D space, where Irrlicht comes out of the box with an entire orthographic drawing library.
I am currently using Irrlicht (via the IrrlichtLime .NET wrapper) in my project, because it's 2D and I like the easy to use built in 2D functions of Irrlicht. That said, they are rendering engines, not game engines. If you want a game engine, you're better off going the Unity or UDK route (I'm not sure why you don't want to learn C#, if you know C++ you basically already know C#...I sense some bias there).